This gorgeous mixed media textile work of Karen Goetzinger depicts the vivid text from the whole chapter of Revelation 21 describing a “new heaven and a new earth.”
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1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. 10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; 12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
Revelation 21 is a triptych consisting of Italian pima cotton organdy, cotton, tulle, gold lamé, acrylic paint, and gold leaf. Three 30″ x 10″ canvasses combine to make a 30″ x 30″ work in reflection of Revelation 21:16 -- "The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide."
The city skyline is layers of organdy (often used in wedding gowns) built up as a city and then monoprinted with acrylic paint, connecting to verse 2: "I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband."
The bottom portion of each section was made by painting cotton fabric – cutting up the fabric into small rectangles of varying sizes and reassembling, overlapping the rectangles slightly. That new “fabric” was then stitched over the top in interlocking rectangles. Sheer tulle was stitched over the top in reflection of verses 19-20: "The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst."
Each section of the triptych was monoprinted: the red “splotches” symbolizing the blood of the Lamb, the portions of text as well as the gold lamé Alpha & Omega, and Chi Rho. This stems from verse 6: "He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End."
The gold leaf cross illuminates the city from verse 23: "The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp."
The piece now resides in the east entrance of the chapel at Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minnesota.
In a world increasingly enthralled with high speed technology and quantity over quality production goals, Karen Goetzinger finds artistic inspiration in time honored traditions. She uses techniques that compel her to savor the process of creating; from the exhilaration of selecting colours and textures to the rhythmic lullaby of stitching by hand.
Ms. Goetzinger is an award winning artist, teacher, and lecturer currently living in Ottawa, Ontario. She is known and sought after for her finely detailed mixed media textile works that are influenced by her roots in traditional quilt making, couture construction, and her lifelong passion for the urban landscape. Since 2005 she has taught at the Ottawa School of Art and is currently a mentor/instructor in the Fine and Contemporary Craft Mentoring Program.