December 2013

- Christmas at St. Matthew's -


One of the fifty important places in my life is the church in my home village. Not only because I went to every Sunday service in my childhood and youth, and know all the space’s curves and arches as well as the altarpieces, stained glass windows, stone figures and murals. For me, St. Matthew’s is also the gateway to my family’s past, the generations of Roman Catholics that remained connected to both the village and the church for a long time . I’m talking about people, who, if they were still alive, I would call my great-great-great grandma and great-great-great grandpa, but whose names, if anything, are the only things that have been handed down. They were baptised, married and mourned in St Matthew’s Church, and it was here they spent a part of their Sundays. But did they know the organ gallery too? I first set foot in there during Christmas 2008, in order to paint this picture. At the end of the long nave, halfway up, it offers up a beautiful view of the whole church. I painted while the organist played, the choir sang, the priest preached and the worshippers prayed. And while I was painting, I thought about the many people, to whom I owe my own existence, and about whom I would never know anything more, other than that they were farmers and they lived in this village. They sang, prayed and followed their thoughts in this very place. It’s to them, the unknown people – who yet are connected to me – that I dedicate this picture.


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