Fourteen large figures dominate the artwork. Four pillars adorned with brightly colored green and orange foliage separate the foreground and background. Behind the pillars, a large crowd of people, men and women from all backgrounds and of all ages, gather. They watch, intently focusing on this act of service and supplication.
The theme of this artwork encourages us to show true humility of spirit, and love for all. This paschal season ritual transcends particular religious observances and gives us a beautiful guide for our lives. We are called to treat all with respect, and to serve our community in different capacities. True leaders are those who are called to serve.
“Novelist Luigi Santucci once wrote that if he could have some relic of Christ’s passion, he’d choose the bowl of dirty water (which Jesus used to wash the disciples feet at the Last Supper). He’d take it into the streets, he tells us, passing from person to person, looking only at their feet and never at their faces–so he couldn’t tell friend from foe. Popes and presidents, drug dealers and arms merchants, gurgling babies and adoring grandparents, petty thieves and scam artists, prom queens and disc jockeys: he’d wash the feet of everyone–and keep on washing until they understood. Deciding whom to save isn’t our job. Our job is choosing whom to serve. And Jesus’ example suggests we should be absolutely indiscriminate in our judgement. Look at feet, not faces.”
Daybreaks by Nathan D Mitchell, 2010
This image was used in the creation of a mural at Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove, California, in 2015.
Because Swanson printed giclee editions in smaller batches, only those printed during his lifetime are signed by the artist. The remaining prints from the edition are made using the same image he created and approved, but with his signature printed where he would have signed them.