Unfolding, Nancy Gowler
2020 Oil on canvas
The Celtic theologian and badly maligned heretic Pelagius called upon us to look for the "narrow shafts of divine light [that] pierce the veil that separates heaven from earth." Much of the work of the artist is in paying attention. I was first so captivated by the spiral of a slowly unfolding frond of a sword fern in my backyard that I snapped a close-up photo of it with my phone. Much later during a clergy art retreat, I explored the image further in this small oil painting. Even in a photo the frond pulsates with potentiality, on the edge of a fullness it does not yet realize.
"When God pronounced that his creation was good, it was not only that his hand had fashioned every creature; it was that his breath had brought every creature to life. Look too at the great trees of the forest; look even at your crops. God’s spirit is present within all plants as well. The presence of God’s spirit in all living things is what makes them beautiful; and if we look with God’s eyes, nothing on the earth is ugly."
--Pelagius (354-418 CE)
2021 Art Exhibition
Highlights of FCC Creation Care Art Exhibition on display in September 2021.