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Render Unto Ceasar
Size: 48”w. x 48”h. x 10”d.

Render Unto Caesar, like its companion piece The Meek, is a postage stamp quilt. However, while The Meek is about inheritance, Render Unto Caesar is about loss. The squares of this quilt spell out “render unto Caesar,” over and over and over because once you start, it’s hard to stop.

At one point in the repetitions, “Caesar” switches to “Kaiser,” the German Caesar and corporate entity. To whom we’re rendering is updated, modernized. Then it switches back to “Caesar.” It’s the same old story really.


The effects of rendering are exemplified by several special quilt patches and appliques. In the lower left-hand quadrant is the lid from a fruitcake tin. Its nostalgic 1800’s illustration (perhaps Currier & Ives) evokes a simpler, happier time -- spending the holidays with family at a rural manor. But the render-unto-Caesar matrix is so intrusive the picture is nearly subsumed by the invidious background.

In the top right-hand corner is a vegetable steamer -- a sort of sieve. Rendering unto Caesar will drain you. In the bottom right-hand corner is a dart board, rendered unfunctional because a “piece of the pie” has been appropriated. That wedge is served up on the trowel located in the upper left-hand corner. The trowel is jabbed into the quilt which oozes blood. It’s being bled dry, too.

Standing above the dartboard is a small, plastic man. He has a hole in his middle. He’s empty at heart. He points upward to the central image of the quilt: Jesus knocking at the heart’s door. Something is missing here too -- the image of Jesus. To render unto Caesar is to lose one’s soul.

So take the time to read the text closely. It says, “Render unto Caesar...What? Render unto Kaiser...What? Render unto Caesar...Squat!”

If you’re interested in purchasing Render Unto Caesar, or would like to learn more about my community involvement projects, please e-mail me at Rikn@ArtsEnrich.com, phone 509 362-5296, or write to me at P.O. Box 161, Marshall, WA 99020.

 

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P.O. Box 161, Marshall, WA 99020 / 509 362-5296 / Rikn@ArtsEnrich.com