Tuesday, December 4, 2007

approaching God


This is an installation that I did several years ago. Actually, I did it twice, once at the end of my bachelor program, and then I was invited to install it again, a couple of years later at the BYU MOA (2003). This piece was rather a breakthrough for me, my degree was in painting and I really hadn’t explored very much beyond the 2D surface before. But I had been trying to visually work out my ideas about approaching God, and creating something you could actually walk into, passing through a ‘veil’ and coming “inside.”
In the center of this installation is a post of rough hewn wood about 4 ft tall, with an iron spike suspended in the air over it, a symbol for the atonement, sort of a stand-in for the cross. I think I was using my artwork as a sort of ritual, a process by which I hoped literally to come closer to God, for in spite of the fact that I was heavily involved in the church at the time I still felt this estrangement.
As I have allowed myself to question the faith I was raised with I have been terrified that the final destination would be atheism, that I would lose God. However, that hasn’t been the case. I have lost the cut and dried and thoroughly defined view of divinity that I was raised with... But God is still there.

“I realized that what has separated me from God is not doubt but beliefs and creeds and formulas… The philosophies and Cosmologies and Gods we have created are all far too small.”
-Robert Fulghum

“In the end, what I believe about God is simple. It’s like this- I used to have this really great dog. She came from the pound. She was a mixture of about ten different breeds, but seemed to have inherited the finest features of them all. She was brown. When people asked me, ‘what kind of dog is that?’ I would give the same answer: ‘She’s a brown dog.’ Similarly, when the question is raised, ‘what kind of God do you believe in?’ my answer is easy: ‘I believe in a magnificent God.”
-Elizabeth Gilbert

5 comments:

mr. pink's mom said...

this isn't my actual comment. ok?
but I just have to say real quick...this is beautiful!

i knew instantly what it was.

(chandelle) said...

wow. that is astonishingly beautiful. i wish i could have had the privilege of seeing it in person.

i love that first quote you posted. that is exactly how i feel but i could never put it into words so well.

G said...

thanks chandelle.

"i love that first quote you posted. that is exactly how i feel but i could never put it into words so well."

yep. I mostly find that other people have already said what I think, and they have said it much better than I could.

Lessie said...

G, this is fantastic, as usual. Just when I had decided that I didn't care about being rich, I see some of your art work and decide that someday I'm going to have to have enough money to commission a piece from you.

Anyway, your blog is awesome. Sorry it's taken me so long to comment. I'm excited to see what else you have to say.

Maggie said...

Beautiful work and beautiful post!

-Maggie (a random lurker who stumbled across your blog and only wishes had your bravery and talent)