Nearly one year ago I watched with fascination as a Turkish uprising spread across the secular, albeit oppressed, country. As the protestors gained momentum and numbers, they acquired a more dangerous and powerful asset - confidence in their voice. Within weeks, out of the chaos and amidst banging pots, water cannons, and even death, a creative expression emerged that was beautiful in its strength, commentary, and solidarity. It was the time of the artist. I ventured to call it a Turkish Renaissance.
Recently, I happened upon a story of the longest mosaic mural in the world... made out of recycled objects in war-torn Syria! A professor who helped with the project was quoted as saying, "Creating something beautiful from rubbish means that we can rebuild despite the destruction." It gives them hope. It reminds their children that beauty still exists. It infuses joy into all that pass.
Consider urban renewal projects: the gorilla weavers in Philadelphia who, in the dark of night, weave lovely fabric pieces into chain link fences surrounding abandoned lots; community gardens and place making art intended to beautify an ugly location and serve to educate, involve, and gather a community; public park projects... even Central Park's design meant to inspire, gather, and nurture people's souls.
As a creative myself, I am drawn to this idea of making something beautiful out of chaos. But as a believer, I am even more intrigued by how this action reflects a creator God. Did he not also create something beautiful out of chaos? Gungor's lyrics are never far, "You make beautiful things, you make beautiful things out of dust. You make beautiful things, you make beautiful things out of us." The act of making something beautiful out of dust is sacred.
I believe there is within us an innate need to create. Our mandate: take raw materials and make cities, tones and chords and make symphonies, plants and fruits and make delicate feasts, multiply and make families, build legacies, construct culture and tradition. Create! Why? Because it is a sacred act.
All of art is sacred.
To help us explore this idea, I've invited some wonderfully creative artists and fabulous women to share their journey with us. I'm curious about their creative process, the musings and mullings that go into the work of their hands, and the insight they can share about the sacredness of art. Follow on Tuesdays as we hear from: