In the Garden of Resurrection — An artistic journey — Episode 3

[notice]Join us on a monthly “In The Garden Of Resurrection” journey towards a unique Christian prophetic art exhibition around the glorious theme of Christ’s resurrection. What must that journey have been like for Mary as she walked to the disciples burning with the message that Jesus was alive, with the revelation that He was surely God and had overcome death? This month we continue with Mary on her journey, joined together with two friends. Two potential participants in the exhibition have contributed this month.  Robin Bownes is a photographer and musician who lives in Fishhoek with his wife and daughter; and Zita Consani is an actress, drama teacher and artist who lives with family in Plumstead. [/notice]

1 Zita Consani

As a potential performing artiste in the exhibition, I’ve been mulling over what resurrection means in an elementally personal way.

Which is to say, that restoration and resurrection of my soul evolving with as much miraculous transition as that gorgeous creature – once a nondescript crawler with no hope of flight – emerging from its chrysalis.  Having come from unchurched broken beginnings, my soul was full of insurrection, which, while not the opposite of resurrection, certainly is a large part of the reason I remained in the carnal caterpillar stage  while dreaming of freedom and flight. For dream of it I did – in spite of depression and disillusionment as dead weights – and somehow retained a sure instinct that the hope of resurrection existed.  I just didn’t expect, EVER, that it would come in the form of that pitiable man-God (as I once thought of Him) on that despised cross.

Click here
to listen to Dan McCollam discussing prophetic art at in Part 2 of the series.

I am considering now, in the light of this exhibition, these two concepts in juxtaposition – insurrection and resurrection – and how to translate them into a performance piece that will illustrate the soul’s journey from caterpillar to winged creature of beauty.  I know the metaphor of a garden is a well-used one, but I can’t help noticing that insurrection first happened in a garden – the result of which brought us to this present godless earth garden with its lonely thorns.  That inimitable biblical love-poetry, Song of Songs, promises restoration and reunion with the Great Lover of our souls in the garden of our hearts.  And of course this is where the actual resurrection of Christ was experienced by Mary.

My challenges?  They’re plenty.  For one, to use these well-worn metaphors in  fresh, evocative, non-religious ways, yet weave them indubitably into a Christian context.  Secondly, to make the piece personal yet universal.  Then also, not having a physical canvas to work with, to use words, mood and movement to paint effective impressions into the canvas of the (audience’s) soul.

This exhibition and similar creative projects are not only, in my opinion, a rich texture in the tapestry of the Christian life but essential to it.  It is projects like these that stimulate artists, those anointed prophets of God, to express the very music of God’s heart.

I urge all artists to take this exhibition seriously; to pray richly, worship fully and take disciplined risks.  This is not the time to play sentimentally safe.  These times call for a Christian art that is unpredictable, gorgeous, provocative.  So let’s ensure, no matter how quiet or resounding the piece, that it has the wow factor!

It was my native, nurtured insurrection that kept me bound to my own carnal self.  It was my surrender of self that brought about (and still does) my glorious resurrection.

Exhibition Date: 4 – 7 Oct 2012
Submission Date: 18 August 2012

Pre exhibition events

1.  Workshop:  26 May (Muizenberg Area) and
9 June (Tableview Area)
At the workshop there will be opportunity for creative worship, networking and fellowship. We will also have a workshop by Leigh-ann Pringle on revelation development: tapping into the heart of God and putting your revelation/inspiration into art form. Leigh-ann Pringle is a multimedia artist and art teacher who has led numerous prophetic art workshops. She is an experienced exhibition curator with a special interest in installation, animation and video. Artists are encouraged to bring whatever they have begun to work on to the workshop – whether it is an almost fully developed artwork or simply a concept written on paper – so that artists can share ideas and learn from one another.
Artists who want to participate in the exhibition must register either before or at these workshops.
Venue: Bay Community Church in Muizenberg, 92 Capricorn Boulevard North, ph:  (021) 788 1171
Life Changers Church, Corner of Echium Road and Raats Drive, Tableview ph: (021) 557 7704
Time: 09h30 – 15h00

2.  Artists’ Event and art submission: 11 August (Tableview) and 18 August (Muizenberg)
This will be a time of worship, prayer and discussion ahead of the exhibition. Artists submit their art works at this event.
Venue: Bay Community Church in Muizenberg, 92 Capricorn Boulevard North (021) 788 1171
Life Changers Church, Corner of Echium Road and Raats Drive, Tableview ph: (021) 557 7704
Time: 10h00-12h00

What media can be submitted?
Fine art, sculpture, video, installation and photography can be submitted. A minimum of one and maximum of five pieces may be submitted but a maximum of only 3 pieces may be selected for exhibition.

Can I submit art I have already created?
The art should ideally be created for the exhibition or be a maximum of two years old provided it is on the theme of The Resurrection or LIFE. [/notice]

2. Robin Bownes

When Jesus rose from the dead there were no reporters to give ‘the low-down’, no cellphone cameras to capture the moment, nor Twitter to spread the news, and yet the news spread. The Gospel accounts of Jesus’ resurrection were all written decades after the event, and contain no photographs, or even artist’s impressions. In many ways they seem so woefully inadequate by our modern standards of reporting, publicity, or even art, and yet they worked. The news got out, not as a brushfire media frenzy, but as the slow, charcoal burn that glows, warms and ultimately endures.

The question has been asked countless times before. “What if Jesus was born today?” Would things have turned out differently? Would we have seen Him as He truly is, or tried to make Him over in our image? Would we have loved Him, or hated Him, killed Him or crowned Him? Would we, in essence, have acted any differently to our first century counterparts? Surely if there were photographs of the empty tomb, of Jesus, alive and well, chatting to the twelve, braaiing fish on the beach? Surely Oprah would come out of retirement to discuss resurrection or near-death experience; surely everyone would have to believe? On the other hand, many people don’t believe that man has walked on the moon, in spite of first-person testimony, photographs, video, and moon rocks.

So how do I, a photographer and writer, with just a hint of musician, approach the creation of resurrection art? I see pictures in words, and lyricise the images that dance before my inner eye. My mind is an often messy melange of words and images, occasionally set to a tune. It finds the pictorial worth of a myriad words, and distils a single image from the complex flow of language. My process immerses me in a potent stew of sound and light – analysis and whimsy – grammar and grandeur.

… but, The Resurrection? Two millennia, have left little unsaid by means of music, word, or image? Has any genius been left untouched by this most seminal event? My mind springs to such awesome creativity as Michelangelo’s “Resurrection of Christ”, the William Morris’ stained glass window depicting Jesus and Mary Magdalene in the Garden, and of course, the soaring wonder of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah.

What more can be said and how do I presume to say it? But I am a creative being, created in the image of The Most High, the creator of creativity itself. The Resurrection, by its very nature is so much more than history. The power of The Resurrection surges on through time and space, and me, restoring life to all that it touches. This exceedingly great power lives within me, constantly reviving me, and leaping, arcing and sparking life to all around me. (Eph 1:19-20)

  • Catherine van Schoor is a creative director at the Educational Support Services Trust. She is a writer, researcher, documentary producer and graphic designer. Together with a team of worship leaders and intercessors she spends her time in worship and intercession at the Prayer Furnace at Bay Community Church in Muizenberg.

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