Wedding Feast

Wedding Feast

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  Art Description

As I built the layers of colors during the printing process for this serigraph, I tried to create a build up of color on the faces of each character in the scene. What happened as an outcome of this is a more intense look—it recreates the drama that is part of icons and Byzantine painting. There is an unusual design that unites and yet creates three different spaces. This design is on the tiles of the floor. They are almost like semicircles around each activity: the meal at the wedding table, the dancing, and the excitement around the wine jars. Somehow one can look at them as being separate rooms or one large room with these tiles—separating and yet uniting them. The three pillars help create this framework as well.
There is a border that is similar to a window frame that we as spectators are looking into. We are observing all these events. This border was printed one layer of a flat metallic gold ink and a second layer used a stencil with patterns of leaves and flowers. The ink for this second layer had more gold metallic content, thus creating a subtle pattern with two layers of gold inks.

 Artist’s Notes

The WEDDING FEAST at Cana (John 2:1-11) celebrates life. The newlyweds want all of us to share in their joy. They bring together their community. We are all invited to their feast. Guests celebrate the couple, the promise of new life in the fruitfulness of love, and the mystery of life itself. They eat, drink, and dance with gusto, toasting "To Life."

"Ah, yes, I've been missing it and I didn't want to miss it, I love that 
passage; it's Cana of Galilee, the first miracle . . . Ah, that miracle, ah 
that lovely miracle! Not greif, but men's joy Christ visited when he 
worked his first miracle, he helped men's joy. . . 'He who loves men, 
loves their joy' . . . The dead man used to repeat it all the time, it was 
one of his main thoughts. . . One cannot live without joy. . .

"Joy, the joy of some poor, very poor people. . . Why, of course they 
were poor, if there wasn't even enough wine for the wedding. Historians 
write that the people living around the lake of Gennesaret and in all those
parts were the poorest people imaginable. . . And the other great heart of the other great being, who was right there, too, his mother, knew that he came down then not just for his great and awful deed, but that his heart was also open to the simple, artless merrymaking of some uncouth, 
uncouth but guileless beings, who lovingly invited him to their poor 
marriage feast. 'Mine hour is not yet come,' he says with a quiet smile 
(he must have smiled meekly to her) . . . Indeed, was it to increase the 
wine at poor weddings that he came down to earth? Yet he went and did what she asked. . ."
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, from The Brothers Karamazov 

May your soul beautify
The desire of your eyes
That you might glimpse
The infinity that hids
In simple sights that seem worn
To your usual Eyes
May your inner eye
See through the surgaces
And glean the real presence
Of everything that meets you.
Poet, Philosopher
John O' Donohue 1956-2008, For the Senses

"Christians have heard this text so many times and in so many ways that it
can be dulled by its repetition if it is not searchingly applied. This Gospel is
to be insistently proclaimed year after year within the church, so that Christians
might come to see what they do not adequately see and to feel what they do not
adequately feel, so that the question would touch, even shape, their understanding of
what God through the Spirit is calling them to. The church is summoned by God never to
forget, in its array of talents, promises, and temporal successes, the suffering of the
What Mary saw at Cana:The indispensability of others
Michael J. Buckley, SJ, The Christian Century, Aug 26, 2016


Image Documentation 

An original, hand-printed serigraph published by the artist with collaboration of master printer James F. Butterfield II at Aurora Serigraphic Studio, Van Nuys, California.

Completed November 12, 1996.

Edition Size: 200

Dimensions: Image: 26" x 18"
Paper: 30" x 22"

Paper: Arches Cover-White, 100% Cotton fiber, acid free, mould-made.

Colors: 36 colors printed
Price: $650.00

Copyright © 2020 John August Swanson