Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Sacred Memory

There are some photos of early saints in Nauvoo.  The few photos we have tend to have a lot of watermarks or other marks of history obscuring our views.  It seems the closer that you get to the central player in the restoration, the less opportunity we have to see their images.  My grandfather was one of those people who never had opportunity to get a photo taken.  But I remember as a very young child visiting the Carthage jail, my mother turned up the edge of the rug in the upstairs bedroom and pointed out the stain of his blood on the floor. It was the closest I would ever come to seeing my grandfather's face.

In creating this painting of the Nauvoo temple,  I wanted to capture some of that spirit.  The "true grit" of the saints  who sacrificed everything, so often becoming anonymous because of their sacrifices.  You can see some of the patterns of chaos in the details of this picture.  They symbolize to me the intense sacrifice of men and women of intense courage. Porter Rockwell, saying  I'lll see you in Hell first, and then I won't.  Mosiah Hancock, eating squirel. All the stories we're not allowed to tell because they are too gory.  I wanted to call this piece,  "the blood of our fathers" but the publishers said it was too gory,  and we settled on the current title,  Sacred Memory.

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