13. Thinking He Was the Gardener

by Eularia Clarke

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Commentary by the artist

Eularia Clarke writes:

Why did Mary thinly was the gardener? Was it because the sun rose and she was crying and couldn’t see clearly and only took in the gardening implements? Anyway the image of Christ as a gardener stuck in ancient tradition, which is nice in these days. Few of us are shepherds or fishermen, but most of us are gardeners by forty, if not sooner, so the connections between Christ and the spade and hoe brings him closer.

Vicar’s reflections

Andrew Bunch writes:

The experience of Jesus’ resurrection given to Mary Magdalene was a life changing event and is depicted in the painting “Thinking he was the gardener” by Eularia Clarke. Eularia has tried to capture the moment that Mary is letting go of the past certainties and gaining an insight into how life might be for her in a closer connection with God. Yes, a new light is dawning in her world. A new growth of insight and awareness is to be cultivated but the biggest surprise is that the light is most easily picked out in the marks left by those incidents in life which have caused us the greatest pain. Eularia hints at this with the light shining through Jesus’ hand, through the hole created by the nail which pinned him to the cross. Revelation and past hurts are not enemies of one another in God’s kingdom, these experiences may well be close relatives as we allow God to communicate with us.

(John 20:1-18)