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Recognizing Creation (by Abraham Bates)

Below is an article written in the first-ever Genesis Arts Report by Abraham Bates – Januar 2006, Vol 1. I am transposing it here for the benefit of online readers who don’t or can’t visit Hillcrest Chapel in Bellingham, WA, where this was written.

This article was originally intended for artists, but in my opinion, can be perceived useful and inspiring for entreprenuers as well.

Why do we create as artists? We create because we understand moments.

Moments are units of time with rounded edges that overlap each other to conjoin and form memories. These memories are past events that shape us as individual and artists.

Imagine yourself, or your life, with all the places you have lived or visited and all the school events or business events or family traditions you have been apart of and the sense of God and spiritual direction that leads your actions and journey through this life. Now imagine trying to grab a hold of those moments as if they are real. You can’t. You can’t because they are in the past and all you have is your memory of them. All you have is the effect of the now from past moments.

For example, as I type with my fingers hitting the computer keys I am instantly no longer typing this sentance. I am now deciding whether or not to edit it out. The typing is in the moment; the reality is the leftover sentance.

Buddhism defines this moment as a flickering, like a candle flame or film strip. our moments flicker so rapidly that life, pain, and suffering all seem real. This idea of the temporariness of the flickering of the moment aptly describes the way we approach paint and canvas. The moment we apply a line of red paint to a white canvas the action is over. After the reality fo the moment has passed we are invariably left with a red stain on our white canvas.

The ultimate moment for us as human beings is God’s creation.

The triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – in complete community and vibrant love chose to create; and in that creation was the moment that would set ablaze the world and life as we know it. Humanness, striving, passions, pain, death, sin, grace, and redemption all come from that first moment of creation.

From that first moment until the flickering moment of now our understanding and perspective as people and artists continually changes.

Philip Roth, in his novel American Pastoral, writes about the reuniting of two long-aged friends at a high school reunion. The first friend confesses to the second friend that his life’s work in medicine was inspired by the conversation he had with the second friend’s father while having dinner with his family. But the second friend has no memory of such an event; in fact, he doesn’t even remember having the first friend over for dinner.

This reunion illustrates the prejudice of perception: as one forgets a moment the other cherishes it forever.

Picasso understood this prejudice of perception inherent in the human individual. He reconstructed the view of the observer through little cubes broken, split, and round-cut. Looking at his paintings the viewer questions his or her own viewpoint: “Am I looking from above down onto a table, sideways at a guitar, or next to a still life vase?”

Picasso’s cubist paintings demostrate that no two people ever look at a piece of art with the same set of eyes, the same perspective, the same social or ethnic background, or the same taste for shapes and colors. Inherently born in each piece of artwork there are two perspectives: the artist and the observer, two polar perspectives uniting in the moment of the piece. The first begins with the actual creation by the artist and the second is a re:creation in the mind of the observer as they seek to understand.

As Christian artists we engage with this multipoint perspective of creation and re:creation. First, God creates the greatest piece of art ever produced: earth, time, humanity, and all that exists. Second, we seek to understand. We exist at the end of history, as we know it, filled with our perspectives of moments – of the past from creation till now – and offer a re:creation of the reality we see.

The responsibility of this re:creation is the passion that guides our work as artists. We take our passions, our perceptions, our pains and hurts, and all that we know about God and the reality of life and create something new and incredible.

We welcome you into this passion.

If you are an artist at Hillcrest Chapel or passionate about the arts, then we invite you to come with us and explore the perception of the moments between creation and re:creation becoming unified in one God.

[tags]God, creation, art, perspective, moment, hillcrest chapel, abraham bates, christian, christ, creativity, entreprenuer[/tags]