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Friday, 30 January 2015

Seeing us all as bearers of the divine image

In speaking about his Head over Heels series Gerald Folkerts writes; “The homeless, the poor, the sick, the young, the age – the very ones whom we often tend to ignore, or at least overlook – their stories seemed worth telling. Such stories are often difficult to hear … Yet these are often the stories that need to be heard most desperately. … why not focus on the face and the feet? They might reveal a great deal about the journey of one’s life, the road on which one has travelled.”

In Imago's E Magazine we read: 'The people found in these paintings are people that the artist took time to get to know. The subjects are burdened in one way or another but the artist depicts them possessing grace and dignity. These important human traits also characterized the artist. He has carried out his artistic calling, deeply shaped by his faith. His work is that of a truth-teller and in the midst of the difficulties of life his faith-ful artist’s eye discerns threads of hope. His work nurtures the human spirit and calls us to view the world and others in it through a lens of justice and compassion, seeing us all as bearers of the divine image.'

Calvin Seerveld said, “Folkerts has the wisdom to let his Christian faith subtly percolate in the spirit of his painterly art by showing compassion for the problematic figures he treats.”

Similarly, on her website Helen Morley quotes the Dutch priest and author Henri J.M. Nouwen who observed: ‘In this crazy world, there’s an enormous distinction between good times and bad, between sorrow and joy. But in the eyes of God, they’re never separated. Where there is pain, there is healing. Where there is mourning, there is dancing. Where there is poverty, there is the kingdom.’

Morley explains that her work is informed by police mugshot images of addicts but they become at the end, autobiographical: 'I see in them our brokenness and need, which invites in either death or Grace. My practice involves developing the right ‘feel’ which is created with action and attitude. Through drawing, music, dance and seeking the intuitive signals of truth, I paint with joy and gesture: whole glooping armfuls of it. In this way I achieve a surrender, and make things I did not know I could do.'

She writes: 'My proposal is that when an artist makes work using their intuition throughout, then they achieve a kind of loving and tender detachment from the piece, a suspension of expectation of a fixed outcome. As this process unfolds, there is opportunity and room for Grace to become evident or operational and this is generational, evolutionary. The end result is a painting that has the potential to be far more than decorative: it can be transcendent.'

Morley is part of the Creative Recovery group, a charitable organisation set up by four people in recovery from alcoholism, drug addiction and eating disorders. Their belief is that 'creativity challenges us to try new things, brings wellbeing, and helps us be open to change.' They provide a rolling programme of different things to try and encourage members to share their creative skills. They state, 'We do not believe that arts and crafts or ‘wellbeing’ activities alone can get us clean, but being with other people trying to get well, sharing in a positive community and making something practical is beneficial as we grow in recovery together.'


King Crimson - Peace - An Ending.

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