Easter Journey is a series on eight pictures, created by young people, which reflect some of the themes of the Easter story.
They were originally shown across secondary schools in Luton in April 2007, as a resource for schools in fulfilling their remit to foster spiritual development in students.
The series is based on the Stations of the Cross (or 'Via Crucis', 'Way of the Cross' in Latin), commonly used within the church since the 5th century. Each station marks a different point in the final hours of Christ. The number of stations differed between 11 and 30, before settling on 14 in the 18th century. Each of the stations explores a different stage in the final hours of Christ, and invites the viewer to reflect on its meaning and resonance in their own life.
For our project, we simplified the traditional fourteen stations to eight, and included reference to the resurrection of Christ as well as his death. Beginning in the Autumn of 2006, we invited young people across Luton, from all faiths and none, to explore the themes of the stations and consider the connections with their own lives and experiences.
Using school art clubs, special painting events and in their own time, many young people took up the challenge. In total, over one hundred paintings were submitted and displayed on a temporary website. Along with their work, young people wrote about what they had painted and its meaning for them.
A final eight were chosen, one for each station, and posters designed. Each one includes the explanation by the artist, a Biblical reference and a question for the viewer. In April 2007, we exhibited these eight posters across seven local schools for the final two weeks of the Spring Term. They were put together along suitably long school corridors and, through school assemblies, we invited students to take a moment in a break to 'walk the stations'
The response to the exhibition was overwhelming. Both staff and students talked about the impact of the young people's work to provoke reflection and the unexpected sense of feeling connected with the Easter story. Over the two weeks, nearly four thousand young people are estimated to have 'walked the stations'.
We are now making these posters available for others to use in similar projects. There is no charge, but we do ask that LCET is acknowledged as the source. We would be delighted to hear of how they are used, either directly, or as a way of encouraging similar work.