M and I are just back from a lovely couple of days in Edinburgh- I had to attend a meeting about mental health improvement (which was actually really interesting- might say more about this later) and so we took the opportunity to go together and spend some time in the City.
And we found ourselves drawn like hungry creatures to the great honey pot of culture that can be encountered in Edinburgh. We spent ages in bookshops, music stores- and more interestingly, in art galleries.
Michaela spent 4 hours in the David Mach ‘Precious light’ exhibition– and was so captivated that she then took me in there too.
You enter the exhibition through a space filled by three crucified figures- the power of which are simply inescapable.
Then you enter a series of galleries full of art inspired by the words of the King James Bible. They are astonishing- huge collages of explosions of images- disturbing combinations and all sorts of mysterious weirdness.
This is the only exhibition I have ever been to where people walk round with tears running down their faces.
My favourite were a series of collages of heaven- in 4 seasons, juxtaposed with grotesque collages of hell, set in lots of cities. As Michaela pointed out- the heaven images were not nearly as powerful- mostly just lots of folk in happy activity- but the contrast with the hellish ones was electric.
Michaela’s favourite was a nativity scene- this does not begin to do it justice-
The other thing that you encounter in the exhibition are two heads- one of the Devil, and one of Jesus, made of matches, which are then burned.
Here is Mach talking about the Devil one.
The burning of the Jesus one was more controversial of course. Mach
The interesting question is whether such powerful religious art could ONLY be done by someone who is not religious? Could a Christian make art as powerful as this about the Christian story?
If you can- go and see for yourself…