The exhibition, titled Celebrating Female Images of Christ/a, features a plethora of interpretations of the feminine elements of deity, including the celebrated Bosnian Christa created by Margaret Argyle in 1993.
“The University is committed to equality and diversity and I am delighted we are hosting such an important, thought-provoking and enjoyable exhibition,” said Professor Lisa Isherwood, Director of the Institute for Theological Partnerships (ITP) and Professor of Feminist Liberation Theologies at the University of Winchester. “People think that Christa is a new concept that came to life with second-wave feminism, but nothing could be further from the truth. Female images of Christ have played an important part in traditional Christian history – especially within its mystical tradition – and have often served to remind the church that Christ became flesh.
“While theologians are often bound by their own preconceptions, by contrast artists engage with imagination and passion as regular tools of their trade. It is exciting to be asked to ‘see differently’ by the artists taking part in this event.”
To complement the exhibition, ITP has organised a series of free lectures examining the concept of Jesus as a woman, and the artists are inviting public participation in a creative project to construct a Jesse Tree for the University’s Cosmic Walk garden.
“The Jesse Tree is an ancient religious symbol which signifies the male lineage of Christ back to Jesse,” explained Professor Isherwood. “On this occasion, the artists will be concentrating on the female lineage, which incorporates some interesting and challenging characters.”
Celebrating Female Images of Christ/a takes place from Friday 10 July to Sunday 2 August at the Link Gallery, West Downs Centre, University of Winchester, Romsey Road, Winchester, Hampshire SO22 5HT. The gallery is open from 9am to 5pm weekdays and most weekends. Please note weekend opening may be restricted, please email email@example.com or telephone 01962 827578 to confirm.
The Jesse Tree installation takes place on Saturday 11 July in the Cosmic Walk garden at the University of Winchester’s West Downs Campus, members of the public are welcome to drop in between 10am and 4pm.
Lectures in the exhibition series take place on Friday 10, 27 and 24 July – for more information or to book a free place please visit www.winchester.ac.uk/events
A print-ready image of She is Risen by Megan Clay is available to download by clicking here
Members of the press are invited to attend the exhibition opening at 6pm on 10 July – artists will be available for interviews. Please contact the Press Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01962 827678 to confirm.