Ash Wednesday, Lent Day 1 - 1st March
I decided this year not to attempt to create a piece of art every day of Lent, but to just create as and when.
I woke up this morning with this image so clear in my mind! Then I got up and started my Lenten readings which was about almsgiving, prayer and fasting being done in secret, as Our Father, who is in secret, who sees in secret, will reward us. One of the questions for consideration was 'am I happy to have God see all that I do?'
I started wondering about the image I'd had in my head first thing and if it could relate to the readings for the day. I saw a huge elephant, towering over a little man. At first, I was thinking small :) about the 'elephant in the room' - how everyone sees and knows what is going on in our parish and the destruction being caused yet nobody is willing to talk about it.
Then I decided the difference in sizes must be more relevant. Could it represent the enormity of God in comparison to man? I read again the first writing in one of my Lenten books. it says: "I maintain that God - out of the abundance of divine relational life, not any need for us - desires humans into existence for the sake of friendship. This thesis may sound strange because it runs counter to much teaching about God. To be honest, I questioned it myself when I first began to think it through. But over the years, as my own relationship with God has deepened and I have listened to people talk about how God relates to them, I have become convinced that the best analogy for the relationship God wants with us is friendship." (William A Barry, SJ)
This made more sense! Mankind thinks himself all-powerful, in control, so often, even in little things, but there is always the One, more powerful, who does not trample us down, but who watches over us, abides with us.
So I tried to portray the image I'd had and give a feeling that the elephant has the might and the power within this situation and yet stands peacefully watching over the man. Gentle love, yet strong.
The man bows his head, recognising the differences, the power and accepting the light that the elephant brings towards him in his darkness.
As to why an elephant, I've no idea lol! Perhaps just for the representation of the differences in control and power and to illustrate the unexpected peace and love being brought to the situation, when the exact opposite would be expected? Who knows, lol, but I wanted to make this piece as close to what I had in my mind when I awoke.
(This piece is composed of at least 7 photos, with numerous textures applied, some brushwork, filters, and creative lighting!)