Saturday, April 11, 2009

Prayer For Joshua

So Joshua called together the twelve men he had chosen- one from each of the tribes of Israel. He told them, "Go into the middle of the Jordan, in front of the Ark of the LORD your God. Each of you must pick up one stone and carry it out on your shoulder- twelve stones in all, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future your children will ask you, 'What do these stones mean?' Then you can tell them, 'They remind us that the Jordan river stopped flowing when the Ark of the LORD's Covenant went across.'Joshua 4:4-7

\ab-ˈstrakt, ˈab-ˌ\ Medieval Latin abstractus, from Latin, past participle of abstrahere to drag away, from abs-, ab- + trahere to pull, draw. 1.not easy to understand because of being extremely complex, remote from concrete reality, etc.; abstruse

I once heard Tony Martin, an artist/pastor from Great Britain give a lecture on Abstract art. It was a small gathering in a Memphis coffee shop called the Ugly Mug. He used the Joshua 4 passage as a defense, or rather, permission for Christians to participate in the production of Abstraction- as a means of presenting the Gospel. It was beautiful. For years I struggled with abstraction. Sometimes a lack of understanding is accompanied by suspicion. I wondered if Abstract art was legitimate, valid, or, as I had been told- 'an inability to do better, a cop out'. In a paper entitled, Toward A Prophetic Aesthetic, Greg Card said, "The challenge is to present/implement something in the material realm that represents the dynamic of the revealed spiritual dimension."

I suppose the thing I struggled most with was the notion that 'art is serious play.'

When Calvin Seerveld stayed in our home, he had a private conversation with Terri about painting. She told him she wanted to be a better realist. He asked, "Why?" It is a simple question with profound implications. He suggested, "enjoy the process, have with the paint."

And so, the years have passed. My understanding and appreciation continues. My vocabulary of the language of art increases. Sometimes what isn't said speaks loudly. Sometimes it takes the abstract. Thank you Tony, and Greg, and Calvin.

"Certain experiences may be transmitted by language, others-more profound-by silence; and then there are those that cannot be transmitted, not even by silence." Elie Wiesel

Calvin Seerveld and Teresa Carter, seriously speaking on having fun

No comments:

Post a Comment