How Luke 23 v 33 became The Lord of Death and compassion for the world

I had to agree with the face, he is less Luke 23 v 33 and more comfortable in his Lord of Death role, and the whole three stages of Bardo.

I went to a Mixed Media and Printing taster day lead by my friend and artist, Caroline Crawford, and somehow I ended up loving bleaching and waxing, but particularly bleaching.

I’m still talking about an art class I should point out.

I have to work on a “Crucifixion” photograph for the Cookham Stages of Christ Trail and I have an idea about the “sins of the world”, and somehow I started out with a tortured face.

Most everyone else was working with beautiful images of nature or patterns

I made my face from string on cardboard, printed it – threw it out.

The face didn’t like it.

The start of The Lord of Death in The Bardot Thedol

So I stabbed away at a pizza base, printed it out. We, the face and I, liked it.

But by now I had a scarlet background and Tibetan prayer flags running through my mind. Traditionally these flags have woodblock-printed texts and images, wishing peace, compassion, strength, and wisdom for the world.

I was really beginning to regret the three glittery leaves I stuck on my work.

I had to go to lunch. Hungarian Goulash if you want to know, it was very good.

I vaguely recalled The Tibetan Book of the Dead and The Bardo Thodol take on attaining Nirvana.

20130216-080808-PM.jpgBasically someone reads The Bardo Thodol as you die to help you reach Nirvana, you have three attempts or you have to come back and be reborn – to put an entire philosophy into a nutshell.

I went back to class.

If you fail the first two, in the Third Bardo your soul encounters the Lord of Death, who holds up a Mirror of Karma and demons inflict torments and punishments for the evil you have done on the Earth.

The incantation of The Bardot Thodol urges you to recognise the entire scene is just a projection of your own mind.

If you cannot you are drawn remorselessly towards rebirth and seek a cave to hide in, which actually turns out to be a womb and you have to go through it all again.

I had to agree with the face, he is less Luke 23 v 33 and more comfortable in his Lord of Death role, and the whole three stages of Bardo.


 Then the bleach was introduced. What a revelation, I love working with bleach, yup, ordinary household bleach.

The rest of the time flew in a haze of tissue paper tearing, PVA and bleach, with my tortured face. It’s a bit of a mess at the moment, but once it’s cropped … and maybe a bit more bleach.

The final words of The Bardo Thodol are: “Let virtue and goodness be perfected in every way.”

And that is how Mixed Media hijacked the whole crucifixion thing.

By The Way, Tibetans believe the thoughts on their flags will be blown by the wind spreading compassion and good across the world to bring benefit to all.

PS I’ve gone out to buy some bleach, oh and the glittery leaves? Gone.

Find more @ Caroline Crawford

The class was held in the Longbarn at Norden Farm Centre for the Arts