STREAMS IN THE WASTELAND
“As an artist, the prophetic literature of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) has always interested me because of its employment of semiotic imagination as a conduit for illuminating deep truths. So also, art has the ability to do what plain academic texts often fail to do for the visual age in which we live.
Through my theological studies, I have been able to investigate the ancient book of Isaiah, which includes zoological motifs wherein wild animals inhabit abandoned spaces. These foreshadowings, which depict animals having dominion over human civilizations, implicate humankind for shirking the Creator’s mandate to steward the environment (Genesis 2:15). This theme is relevant for today, as we both witness and participate in the exploitation of our earth.
The title for my body of work was inspired by Isaiah 43:20-22 “The wild animals honour me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland … yet you have not called on me, Israel.” I have applied Isaiah’s prophecies, which reflect the nations’ lack of honor for their Creator, to civilizations across vast time periods, whose greedy desire for wealth and power ultimately led to their demise.
With the heightened position of the environment and animal rights in our present day, my painting series highlights the metaphysical impetus behind caring for the earth, and humanity’s often-unharmonious relationship with nature. While there is much despair about the state of the planet, with scientists signaling that we are approaching the point of no return, I desire to offer streams of hope within the post-apocalyptic wasteland. While our conservation efforts are not in vain, I believe God will create a new universe with a restored earth. Humans who desire to be resurrected into this new world will be in perfect harmony with their Creator, fellow humans, and animals.”