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The Girona Tapestry

19 February 2016


The Girona Tapestry, needlework (late 11th century, Museum of Girona Cathedral)

Read it as you would read a clock face. At nine o’clock, the earth is a void. At eleven, an angel is in darkness. At twelve, the spirit hovers over the waters. At one, there is an angel in light; by three, the sun and moon have appeared, and the waters beneath are separated from the waters above. Then it is Genesis two: Eve is created at seven, Adam names the beasts at four, and the birds and the beasts revel in abundance at six o’clock.

Read it like a clock, but this is not a moment in time. This is a circle and Christ is the fixed point, blessing this creation forever. God is the source and the destination of this creation. There is nothing about dominion here, no hierarchy. The man and the woman are in the midst of it all, and images of what their stewardship might mean surround them.


The Very Revd Dr David Hoyle is the Dean of Bristol.

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