Jacqui Parkinson

Textile Artist

Tree of Life and Open Heaven

This double exhibition had its first cathedral tour cut short in Covid times in 2019.

‘Tree of Life’ consists of 3 huge stitched panels on a subject that runs though the bible. It is designed to fit easily into large churches.

Many of us remember the story of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in Genesis at the start of the bible, when Adam and Eve bit into a piece of forbidden fruit. But there was another tree in the Garden of Eden - the Tree of Life - and it’s found again at the very end of the bible, in Revelation’s great promise of a new heaven and a new earth. Jacqui has reimagined the cross as the Tree of Life as Jesus dies to offer life. So she depicts the Big Story of the tree in three key scenes, beautifully and dramatically through astonishing stitching.

'Open Heaven' is an extraordinary, dramatic and thought provoking installation: - a kind of sculpture and a visual statement.  A huge rope ladder reaches from the floor of the cathedral or church up to the ceiling, representing the connection between earth and heaven, and between us and God.  Low down on the rope ladder, visitors stand face to face with a life size figure; a cast of a real young man in his thirties. It’s not often we are face to face with a Messiah!  Here is Jesus, hanging on the ladder, reaching out to everyone. Jesus: the one who totally connects earth to heaven, and the Father to men and women.

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