Noli Me Tangere
The scene is the garden after the resurrection. Kneeling, Mary reaches to Jesus with her whole being and plunges her hands into the light. His eponymous response ‘touch me not’, or ‘do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father’, (John 20:17) is here accompanied by a traditional gesture of blessing. A butterfly is released, symbolically elusive to the viewer, a fragile yet enduring icon of new life. Four flowers are depicted that are associated with the resurrection: rose, daffodil, passion and lily. The egg and jug of oil historically associated with Mary are integral to her garment. One lily suggests that the nature of the relationship between Mary and Jesus could be open to the speculation arising for example from Gnostic Gospel sources. The scene freezes at the moment of Mary’s recognition of Jesus and at the same time contains movement of emotion, light and nature, and humanity’s journey toward the eternal.