Distinguished Irish artist and sculptor Ross Wilson opened a new exhibition, “The Calling of Lazarus,” at the First Presbyterian Church of Tulsa on Friday, September 16. He also gave a lecture on Sunday, September 18, entitled “Vincent: A journey inside the world of Vincent Van Gogh.”

The portraits are symbolic of the 60 seconds that would have framed the miracle call of Jesus, which consisted only of a name and two words: “Lazarus, come out.” Wilson says the portraits show Lazarus at the point of animation, resurrection, and at the moment he hears the voice of life, the voice of his friend Jesus.

The Calling of Lazarus
Ross Wilson’s Artist Statement

The calling of Lazarus as recorded in scripture has always moved me. Jesus is emotionally open in his expression of loss at the death of a friend he loved. The impact of separation is profound, heartfelt, and relatable.

Within this loss, Jesus also shows deep empathy toward the grieving sisters of Lazarus. Mary and Martha along with Jesus are united in grief. At their point of loss, Jesus comes with tears in his eyes and a divine purpose in his heart, to reverse the separation of death, to bring life.

I was trying to figure out how long it would have taken Jesus to call out to his friend Lazarus. This divine call of life, deep into the darkness of death would result in a preview resurrection, an undoing of the fall.

These portraits show Lazarus at the point of animation, resurrection, at the moment he hears the voice of life, the voice of his friend Jesus. This was one of the last miracles before Jesus went to the cross. Jesus felt cosmic pain and deep sadness at the death of Lazarus. In this miracle, Jesus shows the power of love over death.

The sixty portraits are symbolic of the sixty seconds that would have framed that miracle call of Jesus, which consisted only of a name and two words: ‘Lazarus, come out.’

It is through the power of Christ’s words that the man who had died came out of the tomb. Jesus Christ unlocked the doors of death for his friend Lazarus by calling him into life. A call that Jesus Christ still makes today through his gospel, calling souls from the darkness of death and sin into the sweet, sweet liberty of grace, life, and salvation.

Learn more at rosswilsonartist.com

About the Artist

Ross Wilson is one of Ireland’s leading artists and sculptors.

In the 2019 New Years Honours List he was honoured by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, receiving a BEM, British Empire Medal for services to charity and outreach work amongst under-privileged  communities in Northern Ireland.

He graduated with a First-Class Honours degree in Fine Art from the University of Ulster and went on to receive his Masters degree from the prestigious Chelsea School of Art, London.

He has been a visiting speaker at Harvard, Wheaton, Oxford and Cambridge Universities and the National Portrait Gallery London.

His commissions include Nobel Laureates Seamus Heaney and Derek Walcott for the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Sculpture commissions include the CS Lewis Centenary Sculpture East Belfast, Titanic Yardmen Sculpture and most recently Amy Carmichael – A Life And Legacy of Grace Sculpture.

His work is included in private and public collections worldwide including:

The Fogg Museum Harvard, The Keats-Shelley Museum Rome, Tate Britain, The Ashmolean Museum Oxford, Magdalen College Oxford, Jesus College Cambridge, St. Lucien National Trust, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, The Ulster Museum, The Burns Library Boston College, The British Museum London, Museo Federico Garcia Lorca Spain, U2, The Houghton Library Harvard, HRH The Prince of Wales.

He has had many Solo and group Exhibitions over his career and in 2020 his work will be included in ‘The Irish Horse’ a major exhibition at the National Gallery of Ireland, Merrion Square Dublin.

His work has been sold at both Christies and Sotheby’s London.

Ross Wilson believes strongly in community outreach, through creativity and educational interaction within marginalised communities both in Ireland and more recently in Rwanda.

His aim is to encourage others to see with the soul of the eye.