Some years ago, after several decades of painting series of works on biblical themes, I have instead been working on a number of individual, single works.: they explore Recently, after several decades of painting series of works on biblical themes, I have instead been working on a number of individual, single works: they explore themes related to a youth memory, as well as feelings of restlessness and numbness. Other works trace my struggling search for a renewed relationship with God.
After the last biblical series of works – on Prayer – I was drawn into expressing the world of my own inner emotional upheaval. At first I struggled to find inner peace, restfulness – as seen, for example, in the triptych ‘Searching for Rest’.
But not only the quest to find inner peace troubled me at this time. My faith was also tested by particular, acute and disturbing experiences. Together these resulted in a sense of inner numbness, expressed in the works entitled ‘Panting for Water’ and ‘Like Thirsty Ground’. Yet I did not abandon my quest, and as I persevered, gradually, I did recover my Source of Life in God, seen here in the triptych ‘Water for Life’.
After the time of restless searching and inner numbness, I remembered something from my youth, from 1967, something that I could not get out of my mind again. As a sixteen-year-old I had travelled to Scotland with a youthgroup. The trip is a happy memory. But what struck me more than anything else was seeing the painting ‘Christ of Saint John of the Cross ‘ by Salvador Dali in Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow. It moved me deeply. As I remembered it, I wondered: would it still move me today, fifty years later? Then, during 2015, I had an opportunity to visit Glasgow. As I looked at Dali’s Christ, I was deeply moved. I found an inner energy, and started working with that image in mind. The result has been two works. One is called ‘Immeasurable Grace’ [the Hebrew word for ‘grace’ is cheen, which means ‘bent over towards’]. In Christ, God bends over towards a person. In order to experience God’s grace, I encourage you, the viewer, to ‘enter’ the work which is spread out on the floor of the church. The second painting is called ‘Overflowing with Sorrow’ In this way, the tears of Christ on the Cross – tears for the brokenness of human life – strikes one personally. Christ truly did bear your and my sorrows on his own shoulders!
It is my hope that in seeing these paintings you too will be ‘set in motion’.
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