Around two weeks ago I went to the dollar store to get some metal bowls. I wanted to try making a plastic bowl with them. It took some trial and error, but I eventually got a bowl shape. However, there were holes in it, as the plastic wasn’t evenly distributed. At first, I thought I’d just use it as a fruit bowl, but I couldn’t leave well enough alone. So, I remelted the plastic, hoping to fill in the gaps. But that backfired: the plastic got stuck in the mold. First I completely bent up the metal bowl, and when that didn’t work, I had to melt it off. Now noticeably bowl-less and with a lump of hot plastic goo, I wanted to somehow save the material. So I put it in the simpler flat press mold and turned the sheet into a cutting board. A failed experiment ended up becoming a nice piece!
Then, last week, I got to contribute an art piece at a conference about sustainable living in the church. The idea was that I produce the piece of art during one of the 1h-speeches. The conference was online, so there wasn’t anyone in the room other than the speaker and the ten or so camera and staff crew. But still, several hundred people were watching. Originally I thought of doing a painting, but that seemed too generic. I went with the plastic ironed collage: what better way to make an art piece about sustainability than using recycled material! The result reflects on the main theme of the input, “Spirituality in Community with Creation” (By Heiner Christian Rust): People are called to “Lord over” creation, but not in a tyrannical way. The word “lord over” means something more like “to take responsibility for”, “to use your authority to serve someone for their benefit”. So, being a Christian and being responsible for the environment go together. Not because we are so competent, but because God puts us in community with each other. As the Christian God is community in himself (Father, Son and Holy Spirit, called the “Trinity”), his community extends to us, and we can extend it to each other and creation. So, I represented that trinity community idea with a series of “threes”: three people (top center), three birds (top left), three fish (bottom). They are in connection to the plants (top right), geography (the “mountains”/”ocean waves” in the middle) the weather (rain cloud, center left) and the cosmos (sun, center). And all that is tied together in a river that runs top to bottom, which represents the spirit of God. It was a joy to make this collage, and it now is a new edition to my art wall.
In that sense, I wish you all a sense of community with your world around you. Even in times as we are in, we are not just here for ourselves, we are with one another. God bless you, and have a great day!