Sunday, 21 December 2008

Image is everything

Make of this what you will. I am not knowledgable enough to make an informed judgement on any of the New Art from China at present on exhibition in the new money no object Saatchi Gallery. Spouse and I know we enjoyed looking at the contemporary art , it made a change from the Atkinson Grimshaws in Scarborough Art Gallery. What remains however , I suppose you could say is that it was just that, 'a change'. I will have forgotten that exhibition in a few months, and be thinking of another one. I know I am looking forward to seeing more of the paintings of George Briggs , with tasters appearing on the cover of the Envoy.
Some images I never forget. There has been a lot of media interest recently in the Wall of Separation (or Security Wall as the Israeli Government calls it) which makes a virtual ghetto of Bethlehem. Some churches are refusing to sing the Christmas hymn 'O, little Town of Bethlehem' in protest at the way the Palestinian inhabitants of the 'City of David' are treated as they try to get in and out of their home town. There can be few people returning from Israel for whom the images of enmity against Arabs ,are not held and recalled frequently , especially this week.
Our group met a young Christian minister, living and working in Jerusalem, whose family lived in the town of Nablus to the North, and whose work took him all over Israel (approx the size of Wales) whose diary arrangements were tenuous. He could never be certain of getting through a checkpoint because he was an Palestinian Arab , and even a visit to family could result in a holdup for hours and hours. Our own Christian guide was denied entry to Bethlehem at first, on a whim, and then allowed in when our visit was nearly over. I am hoping that Banksy will repeat his protest for peace in the West Bank in his usual way. No one uses Imagery so well or with such publicity in Bethlehem as this audacious artist.
Travelling through any suburb in the UK by train is one of the best ways to appreciate the sheer skill of Graffitti artists, and though I have a nimby mind about it, I am impressed with the graphic designs and follow the tags for miles. Images this week are everything, and whilst not one of my friends commented on the Chav Nativity scene I e-mailed to them last year, and I cant put any photos of the wonderful Nativity at St Oswalds online ,until I have the permission of the parents of the children concerned , I can put an image from the church in the Shepherds Fields in Bethlehem.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that it is hard to glibly sing "O little town of Bethlehem " once you have visited and seen the reality of the Holy Land. But instead of feeling impotent we can turn to the Lords prayer and plead 'Your kingdom come,Your will be done , on earth as it is in Heaven.'

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