Stations of the Cross

Stations in The Abbey (by Imogen Stuart) 

Imogen Stuart (née Werner; born 1927) is a German-Irish sculptor renowned for her artistic contributions. She is widely recognized as one of Ireland’s most prominent sculptors, and her works can be found in both public and private collections across Europe and the United States.

In recognition of her remarkable talent and artistic achievements, Imogen Stuart received the Mary McAuley medal in 2010. This prestigious award was presented to her by President Mary McAleese, who praised her as a “genius” for crafting “a canon of work that synthesises our complex past, present images, and possible futures.” Imogen Stuart’s art is celebrated as an intrinsic part of the narrative of modern Irish art, contributing significantly to the cultural heritage of Ireland. Her ability to capture the essence of Irish history and identity through her sculptures has solidified her status as a prominent figure in the world of art and culture.

The Stations of the Cross on the walls of the nave are by a  Imogen Stuart. They were commissioned specially for the abbey & were created in 1972. She said it was ‘an honour to have her work in a church with such a history, a place even worshipped throughout the penal days’.

Imogen Stuart is considered one of Ireland’s foremost sculptors. She was born in 1927 & was raised in Berlin. She was the eldest daughter of Bruno E Werner, Germany’s leading art critic of the thirties. She trained under the famous German expressionist sculptor, Professor Otto Hitzberger. She also trained at the Hochschule fur Bildende Kunste Berlin (HFBK) & at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich.

In 1948, she met Ian Stuart, a sculptor, during a visit to Ireland. They married in 1951 & settled in Ireland. They had 3 daughters together & separated in 1970.

Her career in sculpture has spanned over 70 years. She has completed many public & private commissions & her sculptures are in private collections across the world. Imogen remained active and creative to the end of her life in March 2024 with her worked displayed in a exhibition in Dublin Castle until February of 2024, just a month before her sad passing. 

“The stations of the Cross” by Imogen Stuart are a series of artworks commissioned for Ballintubber Abbey in Ireland. These stations appear to be inspired by Celtic Crosses from the 13th century and aim to capture the spiritual heritage of that era. The artist has chosen a simple composition and delicate colors to convey the emotions of sorrow and serenity in the characters’ journey to Calvary, which is a significant Christian theme.

The stations serve as a blend of art and faith, with the intention of transforming the silent suffering depicted into a form of prayer, adoration, and praise. This blending of artistic expression and religious devotion is a common theme in many religious artworks and sculptures, where the visual elements are used to evoke deep spiritual and emotional responses in viewers. In this case, Imogen Stuart’s stations appear to create a contemplative atmosphere that invites viewers to reflect on the Christian story of Christ’s journey to the crucifixion.



Stations of the Cross on Grounds (Tóchar Chriost – Christ’s Journey)

The Stations of the Cross on the grounds of Ballintubber Abbey, also known as “Tóchar Chriost” or “Christ’s Journey,” are a unique representation of this significant Christian tradition. These stations are distinguished by their use of natural stones and the incorporation of local stories that are associated with each station. This blending of natural elements and local narratives serves to enhance the thematic depth of each station, allowing them to resonate with visitors on a profound level.

Each station, such as Faith, Perseverance, Hope, Temptation, and Sacrificial Love, likely incorporates specific stones or features that symbolize or represent the themes associated with that particular station. These thematic elements help to create a more immersive and contemplative experience for those who visit the stations, allowing them to connect with the spiritual and emotional aspects of Christ’s journey to Calvary.