Presence Defined by Absence - 'Via Crucis,' installed at Gordon College Chapel Lobby

The 'Via Crucis, A Photographer Before the Cross,' Print Series is now installed at the Gordon College, Chapel Lobby in Wenham, MA. The full set of installation photos will be posted here momentarily.

A Note on 'Via Crucis, A Photographer Before the Cross'

Presence Defined by Absence

In 2001 I walked into an abandoned quarry in Rockport, Massachusetts; a drought had settled upon Cape Ann, and I was photographing uncovered tools and equipment. One day as I stood some eighty feet deep below a quarry wall, I trembled. I felt something more than human, speaking directly to me. And the work became personal.
Over the next decade I produced a body of work titled "Chapters on a Quarry Wall."
As these works began to be exhibited, a sacred longing began to emerge from the granite walls, and I began to yearn to connect more deeply with the Great Silence within their surfaces.

In March 2011, I trembled a second time upon realizing how the series of 'Via Crucis,' had become complete , the full 14 Stations within a 300 foot walking distance.

The selection from the series installed here at Gordon College Chapel represent the 8 scriptural stations and the Lamentation. In April 2011 these images were installed at the St. Paul Lutheran Church in Lanesville, Gloucester on Cape Ann. They formed a walking meditation upon the Stations and were viewed over Good Friday and Holy Saturday.

…Paul Claudel in his book, 'A Poet Before the Cross,' speaks at the moment of Christ crying out ,"My God, My God, Why hast thou forsaken me?" Claudel makes the point that God's presence is defined by his absence, his face seemingly hidden from his Son.

…. these images from the quarry walls are defined by the absence of the stone removed. The removed stones hover and infuse each of these way stations.


After viewing the installed works, and to learn more of my journey, please visit me at:
In gratitude,
Leslie D. Bartlett

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