I first saw this image at the RevGalBlogPals' Tuesday Lectionary Leanings post. LutheranChik had put it up to illustrate the lectionary for Advent 2A, and I was captivated by it.
She kindly gave me the citation for it: "O Root of Jesse" by Ansgar Holmberg, CSJ.
Ansgar Holmberg, CSJ, studied with Ade Bethune, but her own work moves in a different direction. Her color-saturated works are more reminiscent of folk art than conventional religious images. She does not create for a liturgical purpose; rather, her art results from her own spiritual journey and life changes. Her interpretations of themes are not fixed in the manner of Icons, but ever changing through time. About her O Antiphons, she says she would do things differently today—she no longer agrees with the ideas she brought to their creation.
Interesting, and I'd like to know more about the last sentence....I'll be looking into this artist. In the meantime...I love the look and color of this, and the message that we are all built of those who came before us; the great cloud of witnesses. In particular, I love the bottom figures, wrapped in grave cloths. At first glance, I thought, "Are those GRUBS!?" and, while really not, they also sort of are. Bodies in a different form. Pupae that transmogrify, through descendants, into those who come after them.
"But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept." (1 Cor 15:20)