Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Abbey of Gethsemani

Meg was recently asked to submit designs for 14 Stations of the Cross, for a local church. She was directed to see the stone reliefs by Peter Watts, which are housed in the Abbey of Gethsemani. A visit was scheduled for Friday the 13th, so, I tagged along.

The monastery is nestled in wooded knobs a few miles south of Bardstown, Kentucky.

One of the first things to grab my attention were the small signs that asked for silence. (we were happy to oblige).

We had the privilege of being shown the sculptures ( and other art pieces like this font in native limestone) by Brother Paul Quenon. You can see some of his photography and poetry on the Gethsemani website www.monks.org.

The reliefs are installed in a long gallery-like hallway.

The Stations of the Cross were carved in high relief from an English limestone that is very similar to our Indiana Limestone.

Peter Watts also created this expressive sculpture. The banner translates from Latin, "I love because I love".

Outside, we were shown this bronze by Louisville sculptor, Bob Lockhart.

On a terrace above Bob's sculpture were these iron crosses. The Abbey has been in continual use at this location for over 150 years.

Walking back down the hill, we found this message spelled out in seeds from a tree.

Inside a walled garden is another version of the Stations of the Cross. This one is made from sand-cast bronze attached to concrete plinths.

Before Brother Paul Quenon left us to return to his duties, he pointed out this monument by another Louisville sculptor that we know, David Kocka.

The grounds of the monastery provides ample opportunities for quiet contemplation.

The Abbey is certainly a spiritual 'hot spot'. We enjoyed the visit immensely. (all photos on this post are by Meg White)

2 comments:

artistatexit0 said...

Recently I brought a friend out to Nerinx to visit Jeane Dueber at the Sisters of Loretto. That's another nice contemplative place with ties to the early Catholic church in America. I liked the message spelled out using seeds in your post.

Steve said...

It's interesting following your pre-work routines like this. One needs that sense of scale and place which you describe beautifully in pictures and words. That is a very creative Abbey, is it not> I'll check out your monks....link quickly. Another interesting Internetting function, lol. And thanks for your nice comments on my blog.