Currently on display
at the National Art Gallery's Exhibition "Medium: Practices and Routes of
Spirituality and Mysticism", Wellington Bridgewater's 'Resurrection with
Roman Soldiers' is ripe with storytelling. Upon first glance, one would assume
that the piece dichotomizes the saved and unsaved in its two-part earth-sky
composition; however, the painting narrates a scene in which the
roman soldiers confront their own judgement.
One particular soldier, standing in the middle of the painting, has already resurrected and is moving into the upper (sky) part of the composition, suggesting that he may be “saved” and will join the throng of angel/soldiers in heaven. Conversely, we see another soldier awaken in skeletal form, indicating his damnation, and is meant to follow the devil figure standing at the right side of the painting.
Like so many of the works with the NAGB’s show, this piece helps us understand the connection between death and spirituality, and it’s brilliant storytelling adds to the rich spiritual symbolism found in many Bahamian Artworks.