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Sending the Spirit of Compassion

Sending the Spirit of Compassion

Sending the Spirit of Confession. That is how the artist calls the artwork which was unveiled on May 11, 2004 during the official opening of the Westfriesgasthuis by Princess Margriet. A Racka sheep stands on a green hill and ensures that the ox arrives safely. The artwork has multiple meanings. The ox and the sheep are not ordinary animals, but have a symbolic value.

The ox and the sheep
One meaning has to do with care. The ox and the sheep represent the patient and the caregiver. People have great power, but can nevertheless suddenly get into trouble, physically. Often they manage to solve those needs themselves. Hospital staff assist them if they fail.

The ox is the epitome of strength, the sheep of alertness and attention. The ox unexpectedly hit the water and is trying to climb on the safe shore. The sheep will ensure that it actually happens. pictured on the horns of the ox are people who are supporting each other. This piece of art, doesn’t only want to express but also to spur on. It aims to evoke a spirit of charity and compassion, hence “a spirit of compassion.”

The lamb of God
A second meaning is of a religious nature. The sheep is a Racka sheep, a breed threatened with extinction. This also applies to the concept of compassion that is portrayed. Moreover ‘racka’ in ancient Greek means scorn and taunting. Jesus, or the Lamb of God, was deeply despised and mocked. He allowed this in order to help us out of the gutter if we would keep his message in mind. That message is depicted in relief on the horns of the ox, in which we recognize people who reach their hands to each other. Christ is also called a Physician says Famke van Wijk. This image is a tribute to the doctors and nurses and at the same time a reminder of their pledge to commit themselves to their neighbors. Jesus is called the son of man. We are all sons and daughters of people, according to Famke van Wijk
We all have a duty to ensure that the message of helpfulness safely reaches land. Eventually I hope that this image gives people a sense of something higher and a desire to act accordingly.