Free to Believe 2012

Sunday 01 January - Thursday 05 January

Final Photos

Click on the thumbnails below to view a larger version with description:

Difficult Reeds

Through all, Gene affirmed the commitment to talking about Truth in preference to being nice, proactively dealing with the difficult instead of watering down Love to a live-able-with non thing.  As I listened to his first session, I started with strong lashings of angry colour. Then they turned into reeds, pushed tightly one against the other.  In many reed beds, there are spaces in the clumps of reeds, but these pushed against each other with angled interchanges on occasion. In the water, the colours are watered down in their reflections. This to me was the tight, colouful, truthful and difficult issues pushing each other for space, with the truth turning to nice as it appears peaceful in the pale reflections.

Then the light came out of the tightly massed reeds. I realised that with all that friction, there is heat; when there is heat, there can be light.  The light pushes out of the heated truthful interactions. In the original drawing on very textured paper, the light shines out almost like torches.

What I found so interesting about this image as it emerged was that it was largely undefined.  Yes there are reeds, but they are far less representational than much of my work.  This affirmed to me that what Gene was calling us to was a wholesale change of attitude; a change of heart and mind.  The details are endless. Only a high level image could depict the huge changes necessary.

Balancing Struggling Seeking Release

This was hard to do as I was both agreeing and crying. The story of trying to understand the Bible against the stories of how people tyrannically abuse it are hard. David Peel, in his session, Sola Scriptura – The Achilles Heel of Reformed Christianity, made us see much indeed.  As an avowed scientist and an avowed Christian, he bravely unpacked the balancing act of faith.

The people at the bottom are pushed there by the unseen who push the tomes on their heads and backs. On the scales are the things we so try to understand – science and the practice of faith. A magnifiying glass to see deeply is balanced on the one side with scripture and church on the other. Look hard under the New Testament side and there is an empty tomb and a cross – the symbols which feed the stories; and, the New Testament is firmly linked to the Old Teastament scrolls.

As I was filling in the details at the bottom  of the page, I was listening to the film, Love Free or Die, the story of the move from Gene Robinson’s consecration as the first openly gay Bishop in the Anglican Communion to the decision by the Episcopal Church in the United States that no priest, of any sexuality, will be barred from any ministry at any level.  As I listened, the figures at the bottom moved from human to animal; I couldn’t stop the pencils trying to show me how we all can choose to treat humans as if they are no more than beasts to move where we want them. The central green figure has a hoof for a right foot…

And even so, the light shines through and at the top, bursting up and out is the word, flying the Bible pages out to the winds.

For Grace or Threat

This drawing arose whilst listening to David Peel’s session, Finding Water in the Well. He reminding us of the Bible as a truly human book containing a transformative story – used for dire hate and used for generous grace. I thank him for reminding us that the book is not the object of our worship, but Christ as depicted here by the empty and glowing cross.

The stone square on the right is the well, overflowing.  Resting above it is a hand outstretched in generosity and both move from the Fire bursting from the Bible but not burning the Bible. This is the depiction of the grace which can be lovingly received whilst engaging with the Bible testimonies.

From the left of the Bible slithers the snake, willing to poison the stories of those who will use the Bible to their own personal ends.  The pointed hand and the first depict those personal ends in accusation and tyranny.

Resting quietly above it all is the faint dove having caught her olive branch to let Noah know that the flood waters had subsided; here, as often, used to remind us all that peace after disaster is possible.