Message - Re: Gosforth Cross....calling Paul and whoever else!

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Posted by  Verve on March 06, 2002 at 16:00:56:

In Reply to:  Gosforth Cross posted by Verve on March 06, 2002 at 09:57:44:

Ok This is related to the 2nd part of my marketing brief.

I have to choose a monument or building of significant status and translate it's ideology into a room/space. Basically trying to strip it down to its basic formal elements. I have chosen The Gosforth Cross because of its apparent status and appeal to many.

This is going to be a tough brief to get my head around to come up with the goods.

I basically Know that this Cross was (is) an iconographic and devotional monument. Its message being an apparently sophisticated parallel believe system of Germanic Pagen and the arrival of Christianity.

This Cross appears to be as much Pagen as Christian when looking at the depictions. There is also believe however that it represents the Triumph of Christianity.

I think that there is some philosophical meaning intended. The element of ideas enforced within (abstract)images, abstract in that because the narration is told visually, much of it remains subtle to the veiwer. The said in the unsaid, and working on many different levels. Quite cleverly and without conflict in opinion. Unlike Islam both the Pagen religion and christianity at the time were not religions of the book, relying instead on oral and visual interpretations. so already variations in theme and iconology existed. By this I mean that these images carved onto the cross do not appear to be in any knid of conflict. It seems to depict the two religions as parralel with much of the expressions perhaps telling the same story. For eg. Odin died nailed to a tree, Christ on the cross. Both religions expressed the same roles of Creation, life, death and rebirth. These are two very conflicting ideologies but no apparent tension, in fact you could almost conclude that with this relaxed and calm approach that the motifs actually shine light on each other. There subtle meaning being to the viewer no more than the viewer wants to see or is able to see. Perhaps the more enlightened gain more from this.

My interpretation here is rather crude as I am still trying to get it down onto paper (so to speak) to work on it more. I hope my meaning comes across ok and not too rambling.

an extract from Richard Bailey's book The Encyclopedia of Anglo-Saxon Culture summarises this thought far better.

Anyway I was wondering if anyone could be of any assistance with how to go about this difficult task. It ties in with the marketing because the space that I create has to be suitable for a clothing shop. My choice of study was Diesel and GAS so it has to somehow incorporate their design philosophies - Ironic and playful being two of them. Any suggestions ?

Paul with you being an historian could you shed some light on your opinion of the meaning and significance of the Gosforth Cross ? thank you...:-)

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