Peter Callesen

Roots of Heaven

Handsewn chasuble in silk and wool, 115 x 117 cm
Handsewn chasuble in silk and wool, 115 x 117 cm
Handsewn chasuble in silk and wool, 115 x 117 cm
Handsewn chasuble in silk and wool, 115 x 117 cm
Handsewn chasuble in silk and wool, 115 x 117 cm
Handsewn chasuble in silk and wool, 115 x 117 cm
Handsewn chasuble in silk and wool, 115 x 117 cm
Handsewn chasuble in silk and wool, 115 x 117 cm

Roots of Heaven, 2019


"Roots of Heaven" is a chasuble developed and designed by Peter Callesen to be used in Nivå Kirke for Selskabet for Kirkelig Kunst. It is handsewn in silk and wool and measures 115 x 117 cm.


"The double motif of respectively a tree and roots refers directly to one of my previous works with the same title "Roots of Heaven" – a silhuette of a tree where the cut out paper forms the roots of the same tree.

"The analogy between the tree of life and Christ is found several places in the Bible. The fruit of this tree provides an eternal life, just like the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Christ also give eternal life. Many places in the Bible Christ uses the tree as an image of himself and the kingdom of God. In the parable about the mustard seed in the Gospel of John (chapter 15 v5) Christ says about himself: "I am the vine tree, you are the branches."

You might say that the back of the chasuble is an image of what is underneath the ground, maybe death. But it is not only a root, it’s also the crown of the tree of life. In that way Christ (tree of life) is present underneath the ground in the kingdom of death. Exactly like the death of Jesus is perceived as a prerequisite for the eternal life, here symbolized in the tree of life. Earth and heaven meet at this chasuble, which for me is the essence in the life of Christ – death and resurrection.

White symbolizes purity, joy, holiness, innocence and is seen as the color of celebration in the church. The white and bright chasuble is used for Christmas, Easter (though not Good Friday) and Ascension Day. I think that the bright and golden expression in the chasuble underline the joyful, the sacred, and the festive.

For me, the tree of life also represents something cheerful and jubilant, besides being a symbol of Christ. Furthermore I think that there in the simpel motif of a tree also lies themes of life, growth, and something aspiring pointing both at the birth, resurrection, and ascension of Christ."
Peter Callesen