Sunday, April 20, 2014

"Love. Loss. Hope: The Art of Easter 2014"

It was the final hour of the "Love. Loss. Hope: The Art of Easter 2014" Exhibition at King’s Fellowship. I was minding the quiet room.  

It wasn’t quite the same quiet room it had been the day before, or the day before that, when I had visited with friends and family.  The walls were in the same place and no one had moved the door but the contents had changed somewhat. 

For just a few days the Breathe Chapel in Merkinch had moved into the quiet room with its benches, wood stump tables and ceramic pathway.  The artwork that usually hung on the walls of the chapel, or littered the bookshelves and window ledges was also there breathing peace and rest into the room.

They were moved back to the chapel and a couple of soft sofas, a round glass table and a lamp took their place.  It wasn’t the same quiet room and no one really stopped and sat down on their way through the exhibition.   The room might have maintained its quietness but without the Breathe Chapel breathing their peace it was just another room.  There was no invitation to linger that had been present then.  I might have hurried through like everyone else in that last hour.

Most of the time, I don’t really get art.  I get the obvious stuff – the still life stuff that looks like it’s supposed to look.  It’s the symbolic stuff that escapes me.  It was enlightening to hear the artists explain their ideas as I listened to the commentary on a MP3 player. 

I really liked a painting by Dot Walker entitled “Gethsemane”.  It was at the very start of the exhibition.  I also thought the screen presentation of the work of Nicholas Mynheer was very moving.

Artists use colour and shape and shade where I would use carefully chosen words and meter and rhyme to put across a message about God.  They use paint or clay or wood where I use words. We are creative creatures and mirror God’s love of variety. 

A lot of work went into the exhibition.  So many people contributed – not just the artists and the poets, but also the huge variety of people who recorded parts of the Easter story so that we could listen as we walked around the exhibition.  Lots of people manned the welcome desk or minded different rooms.  The exhibition was a real demonstration of unity among the individual Christians and different churches here in Inverness.

A lot of prayer also went into the exhibition – my own prayers as I minded the quiet room were that people would reflect on the artwork they had seen and allow it to touch the deepest part of them.

It was a touching testimony to Jesus’ journey from death to life. 

Plaudits must go to Heather Greig, the organiser and curator of the project.  She told me at the end of the day that “next year will be better…” This year was really good.

Inspired by all that art I dug out paper, coloured pencils and a box of soft pastels to create my own piece of art. I don't pretend to have any skill and the recycling bin is full of first, second and third attempts. What I had in mind, but no way of doing it that way, was one of those 3D plastic pictures.  You see two different images when you tilt the picture in different ways. What the enemy might have seen as Jesus' defeat on the cross was always a victory.

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