Every year, artist Mary Button creates a series of artworks that challenge viewers to a greater understanding of social justice issues through the narrative of Jesus’s execution. The Stations of the Cross are a traditional Catholic devotion comprised of fourteen images illustrating the last day of Jesus’s life, beginning with his condemnation by Pilate and ending as his body is placed in the tomb.
The goal of every Stations of the Cross project is to engage faith communities in conversation about the most pressing social justice issues of our time through art and communal devotion. Previous projects have addressed international aid and development in Haiti, the uprising in Syria, the struggle for LGBTQ equality, mass incarceration, and mental illness. The 2016 Stations of the Cross address climate change with a particular focus on the biodiversity crisis and mass extinction. While each Stations of the Cross project has addressed some aspect of human suffering, Stations of the Cross: Climate Change seeks to explore the catastrophic torment of the Earth. More than any other series, this body of work is a call to action.
Stations of the Cross: Climate Change is a collection of 14 drawings that illustrate various aspects of the biodiversity crisis including deforestation, desertification, and ocean acidification. These drawings combine images of those creatures on the brink of extinction because of our exploitation of the Earth with drawings of hands, which tell the story of the Passion through gestures. All 14 drawings will be released in the form of a coloring book. Perfect for Lenten devotion, downloads and prints will also be available for purchase online here. Stations of the Cross: Climate Change is an invitation for individuals and communities to engage in creative contemplation for the salvation of the Earth.
The drawings are complex. Tiny organic shapes join together to form intricate depictions of threatened biodiversity. Each detail is an invitation to contemplation. The coloring book will combine these drawings with short, poetic descriptions that serve as a contemplative guide to the series. The enormity of the biodiversity crisis is as overwhelming as the immediate measures that need to be taken to slow the warming of the Earth. These drawings are an invitation to go deep and to look intensely into the loss of God’s creation.