Late last year I created a modern interpretation of Joseph and Jesus dancing. I have been really surprised how popular it has become. Now that it is school holidays I have been really fortunate to have a bit of hibernation time to create some new artwork. More and more i'm feeling drawn to re-imagine Gospel stories in a contemporary context.
After chatting with two women who were both pregnant about two weeks ago the story of the visitation seems to have stuck with me like a child to an ice-cream truck. This curiosity inspired me to create an interpretation of the visitation (LK 1:39-45). In the artwork I have shown Elizabeth and Mary embracing each other. Elizabeth very pregnant with John the Baptist and young Mary coming to terms with her pregnancy. The thing that strikes me the most about this story is the relationship and kinship between these two very real women. I wanted to show how they supported each other through their unimaginable circumstances. I believe that God is found in community and kinship; this leads us to joy, life and opens us to new experiences. And as we know with community and family there is most certainly always laughter and calamity involved!
The second sketch I created was an interpretation of the Magnificat.
After thinking about the visitation I was really inspired to create a visual interpretation and a more inclusive text version. I will say that I do love Bach's Magnificat; the original is sacred. But, for many the original fails to create connection and relationship, I know I certainly struggle to identify with some of the language. I hope they don't call me blasphemous for this but I really believe that Mary experienced joy (among other emotions in her relationship with our creator). And that her trust in God let her 'soul to burst with joy'. As St Irenaeus said: "The glory of God is a human being fully alive."
I have used colours and symbols in both pieces to accentuate meanings behind the relationship. For example Mary has blue Jeans + yellow/gold top to symbolise glory revealed, joy, light & divinity. Purple is also a royalty & nobility colour for John the Baptist. If you look closely you'll spot 'Luke 1:39-45' on a clothing tag and you may find a Marian symbol too?
I hope these bring you life, perhaps inspiring you to re-imagine the Gospel and your relationship with our God today.
My spirit bursts with joyful gratitude in our God who loves us all.
With my simplicity God shows us there is no hierarchy.
From now on, all generations will know God’s infinite love.
With awe we experience God’s almighty presence.
God’s eternal mercy wraps around all those who love.
God’s strength and tenderness shine through me, shattering all our fears.
God fills the hungry, the rich are shown a new path.
Our prayers throughout history are heard.
We now see all creation forever blessed with life.
My soul bursts, as we now dance with divine mystery...
Jane Maisey rsj