Zoe Fellerer is a young artist from the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area and the daughter of the Mardi Gras photographer, Herb Fellerer. Her piece “Emotions” is beautifully symbolic. It is said that “the eye is the window to the soul” and her eye, stark in black and white in this work, sheds a rainbow of colored tears.
Colors are often used to represent different emotions. Green is related to envy and envy certainly can bring about tears. Sadness is thought of as being a watery, teary-eyed blue.
Yellow is often thought of as cowardly, but all experience fear. Fear, when it cripples us from action, can bring us to our knees in tears.
Reds and oranges represent a fiery rage. Rage, when it burns within us, can bring us to tears.
Purples are the color of royalty. The kings and rulers of ancient times wore purple. Those that rule over us are to do so in care and concern for those for which they care. When it becomes ruling out of privilege, self-righteousness, or simply a love for power, those that rule bring oppression, grief, and sorrow to those over which they rule. It is said that when Pilate, the ruler, had Jesus, the Messiah, brought before him:
“1 Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. 2 And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, 3 And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands. 4 Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him. 5 Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! 6 When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him,” (From John 19 in the King James version Bible)
In His final moments of life before His crucifixion and resurrection, He wore a crown of thorns. The crown was a representation of royalty yet it was a crown of pain and sorrow and He wore a robe of purple so show His royalty as He was condemned to crucifixion by His own people whom He had healed, loved, and forgave.
The rainbow is said to have a been a sign that God gave to Noah after the Great Flood as a covenant to the earth that He would never again destroy the earth by flood. Even so the death and resurrection of the Messiah was the sacrifice and sign of God’s love of His creation. It was a commitment that Man could receive forgiveness of sin through that sacrifice of the Son of God. The resurrection of His Son gave hope to mankind that we may, one day, participate in that resurrection.
In the church, Mardi Gras follows the celebration of the Birth of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, and precedes the time of Lent when the celebration is set aside and the church prepares to honor the mourning of the Messiah’s death followed by the Easter celebration of His resurrection.
Ms. Fellerer’s work of art is both a beautiful representation of the rainbow of emotions that bring sorrow and yet a reminder that in that rainbow of sorrow, God promises the Son will rise again and the light of His love will shine in our hearts as we welcome Him in.
Many thanks to Zoe Fellerer for this beautiful work of art and may the many colors of our sorrows in this Mardi Gras season be turned to joy.