There is something about moving that just creeps into every aspect of your existence. This blog post has been delayed for over a week because all sorts of other, unrelated delays have piled up. Oh well, things are starting to smooth out in the studio!
After taking a scheduled break from the Intersection Art Project for July and August, I hit the ground running in September. With some careful planning, I was able to meet with the New Covenant Alliance Church in Calgary. Their name is a little like a brown paper bag... kind of standard and non-descript. However, when you open that bag, you can see that inside is a rich tapestry bursting with colour and texture. When asked what made their church unique, their pastor told me it’s how energetic and passionate their people worship through singing and dancing.
While their preaching is done in English, this church has strong ties to the Arabic speaking community in Calgary. A lot of what they do is geared towards breaking through cultural boundaries to unite people within the community. Many of these people are immigrants or children of immigrants who are forming their identity outside of the cultural landscape of their ancestors. They do a lot of this using the universal language: food. This is a community that likes to share meals together, be hospitable and generous.
This piece is called Freedom Dance – it is meant to embody the idea of passionate worship. The broken chains represent breaking free from old lives and cultural boundaries. I wanted to capture movement with the frenetic line work. It was complicated but fun to paint this piece, that in itself felt a bit like a dance.