Behold All Things New

visual art in response to issues of concern


Painting, Brie Dodson

Oil on linen on panel, 10" x 12", October 2004

I began this painting out of sorrow for the children of School No. 1 in Beslan, Russia, and also as a means of resolving a private loss.

Children are helpless. Without a loving adult's protection, they have only their fledgling selves to turn to for strength. In the midst of pain or trauma they must comfort themselves as best they can, by clinging to whatever hope or good they can find.

A child dies alone. Even if he is in the arms of those who love him, there is a point at which our efforts to comfort him fall away from his consciousness. He must make the crossing into death, and where he goes, we cannot follow. The painting's title, "Crossing," evokes this moment.

I try to put the deaths of the Beslan children in a Christian context, and it is too painful to contemplate.

Two thousand years ago, parents faced another tragedy too terrible to imagine. Fearing Christ's birth, King Herod ordered his soldiers to put to death every male child under the age of two. The beautiful, haunting "Coventry Carol," often heard during Advent, is a mother's lament for her babe, a tiny boy put to Herod's sword.

Christ's birth is inextricably intertwined with the deaths of the Holy Innocents. The children of Beslan were Holy Innocents as well. Millions of us have mourned for them. I hope that their deaths were somehow linked with Christ.

Brie Dodson

© 2005 The Episcopal Church & Visual Arts