Welcome to ECVAs online exhibit "Out of Darkness Into Light." The 20 artists represented in this show demonstrate a wide diversity in artistic vision and in the perception of light and dark as physical and spiritual realities.
Light shining in the darkness is a major theme in the seasons of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. Artists working specifically with light form an extraordinary partnership with God, the creator of light. Photographers not only employ light in their subjects; it is the energy of light itself that creates the photographic image. And artists who are also Christian cannot fail to see light not only as a sensory phenomenon but also as a powerful spiritual reality. They see the world with the eye of the soul with the inner light of faith.
The light-darkness theme can be placed in three major categories:
Jesus Christ is the Light of the World.
For Christians, the light-darkness contrast comes to signify the mutually hostile worlds of good and evil. Jesus says "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life." (John 8:12) Christ brings us from death to life. He is our spiritual light revealing a truth inaccessible to sight and touch but apprehensible by the eyes of faith.
In Sandra Bowdens He Was Wounded for Our Transgressions, Jesus Christ through death on the cross brings us from the darkness of sin and death into life. Bowdens work explores the relationship between image and text. She finds a source of mystery in the evolution of the word made visible.
Kathy Hettingas Robin depicts one of Gods creatures that has entered gracefully into death and reminds us of the glorious light of our Savior Jesus Christ that awaits us.
Ioana Datcu writes of her Byzantine Christ, Aphotographic reality is altered by painting new light/shadow effects. The image of Jesus Christ exists not only in the external world, but in the painted, subjective inner reality."
Bryan Hiott captures a moment when the sacred and the secular intersect in Divine Lite, which brings together a concrete Jesus, an expressway, a grid of power lines and a Lite Beer truck.
Anything that shows us our way to God can be thought of as light.
Just as all the waters of the earth point to the one Living Water, and all bread on earth points to the one Bread of Life, so all daylight points to Christ the Light of the World.
In Ned Bustards We Beheld His Glory, an illuminated chalice and stark white linen cloth covering the Communion bread against a dark background relate our daily bread to the spiritual bread of Christs body, and wine to his precious blood.
In Patricia Dalzells Karen, the beauty and peace of light and water are contrasted with the beauty and peace of a young woman.
Jan Neals Sanctus shows light coming through a window like a gentle yet powerful visitor. Here light is like the visitation of the Holy Spirit to our spiritual interiors.
The hands in Gary Gorbys The Gift are actually catching the gift of light with an echo of prism rainbow to the side.
A light of flame in Frank Logues Altar represents hope in a place that has experienced evil. Altar was taken in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem between Golgotha and the Grave. The infrared film enhances the additional mystery of the Holy Light.
Anne Wetzels Receiving the Light of Christ is "the interplay of darkness and light, . . . the vulnerable human being moving in community to encounter the mystery of God." The stark blackness of the background intensifies the lighting of the paschal candle at Easter Vigil.
Wendy Wahns Gifts of the Spirit dramatizes "the powerful light of God through Christ and the flames of the Holy Spirit."
In Albert Pedullas Wall Object #4 "one can see the wound by putting ones hand into the hole in the side of the wall. The once white wall has been transformed into an object which gives witness to the power of light and fire."
Light is symbolic of life, truth, and joy.
Light is synonymous with life. Christ brings us from the darkness into light, from anxiety to peace, from fear to love, from pain into joy, from our helpless poverty into the limitless kindness of God, to Gods undeserved grace, Gods sheer loveliness, Gods awesome beauty.
Thomas Faulkner makes both a political and an artistic statement in "Hes too close.", in which "current conflicts are brought to light by the media between peoples, nations and religions that have dark histories." The piece combines a black and white photograph of a jet airplane with packages of brown paper and white twine wrapped laundry and rusty old irons.
In Donald Forsythes Burning Lights the subject is "a gorgeous orb, a symbol of the omnipotent Divine floating in the heavens, surrounded by the suns fire behind and in front and everything in creation hovering over it." The burst of gold yellows contrasts with the symphony of blues and reds.
Jim Zingarellis Stone Table Suite is about coming together. It is the sacramental and liturgical light emphasizing our coming together "around the table."
In Darkness Holds the Seeds of Light Jennifer Murphy finds hope even in broken glass and asphalt and "an offering of sweetness and promise in a radiant orange".
In Lucinda Metcalfes Epiphany, the two panels on the sides "evoke the vivid memory of the Twin Towers, broken in New York. The blue panel between them is pointing upwards, leading the eye from the darkness down below up to the light streaming through the window."
Mary Kocols Christmas Barn with its bright decorations and its surrealistic blue background evokes the stable in Bethlehem. The barn becomes a symbol of hope in a hopeless world, a bright light in the darkness.
And Colleen Meachams Celeste #1 reminds us that our Savior, our Light of the World, was born just like you and me and participated fully in our human life.
Lines from Christmas After 9/11
|©2001 The Episcopal Church and Visual Arts|