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Nuestro Salvador de las Sandias
This icon was inspired in part by the beautiful snow scapes in Akira Kurosawa’s 1990 film Dreams. The icon depicts the resurrected Christ
emerging from the winter. Christ holds a cottonwood branch, one of the first buds to emerge during spring in the Albuquerque region. He wears the color of red for humanity with gold assists, signifying his divinity. The Sandia mountains are purple, characteristic of the hue they acquire in wintertime when they are covered with snow. The moon, which for Bill almost always symbolizes Mary, is present during the day as she waits for her son to rise. Christ appears ethnically similar to many of the people native to the region.
This is Bill’s favorite image of Christ: powerful, strong, and loving. It contains a message of hope. Christ emerges out of the tomb, as this icon was written virtually on the eve of when the sex-abuse crisis in the Catholic Church broke out in Albuquerque in the early 1990s. Unbeknown to the artist at the time, the icon acquired an ecclesial significance and inspired prayer for the people of Albuquerque and the Church that they be healed from the ramifications of the crisis.
BY John D. Dadosky, S.T.D., Ph.D.
Professor, Theology and Philosophy
Regis College/University of Toronto
From “Image to Insight” Book Available on Amazon