Day 8 NOURISHMENT
“Art is man’s constant effort to create for himself a different order of reality from that which is given to him.”
~ Chinua Achebe
Yuri Yuan (
) (Chinese American, 1996–), “Norwegian Wood,” 2020. Oil on canvas, 63 × 73 in
Visio Divina (Latin for divine seeing) is a prayer exercise in which you ask God to speak to the eyes of your heart as you meditate on an image.
The image can be artwork, a photograph, a scene, or even an icon. As you gaze at the painting below, consider the questions at the bottom in quiet reflection. Some parts may speak to you while others may not. Allow about 5 minutes of contemplation per section, but there are no hard and fast rules. Simply be present to the image and allow God to speak to your heart without any particular agenda.
Part of what I (Vanessa) love about art is the invitation to consider perspective, not the optical illusion created by forced perspective, but the perspective of the artist, the person or persons in the piece themselves, the implication of the setting and what may be represented.
In this painting by New York–based, Chinese American artist Yuri Yuan (
) we see what appears to be a winter scene with a woman standing beside a frozen pond. We can’t see her face, though she seems to be peering into the reflective surface. Through the ice there is the image of a person whom the woman may or may not be familiar with. Is this someone she knows? Has the woman conjured them in her imagination? Do they come with an announcement? Invitation? Reassurance?
Looking closely, we can see there is a discrepancy between the woman’s surroundings and the reflection in the pond, which may pique curiosity. In the upper left corner the trees are bare with light collections of snow, but the trees in the frozen pond reflect lush, leafy green foliage, indicating an entirely different season.
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