The tension of the ordinary


I while ago I was able to visit the Peter Doig exhibition and have been meaning to blog about it for ages.

I love Doig’s work for a number of reasons. The sheer size of most of what he produces is stunning and iot can be quite easy to become immersed into the art work. While looking at Jetty, for example, it was easy to feel drawn, almost sucked, into the piece and having a conversation with the lonely figure.

I found this exhibition amazingly spiritual. I found myself asking who the solitary figure was. I wondered why I was interested. I was intrigued that I found the figure inviting, as if he was waiting for me to join him. The atmosphere generated by the painting is hard to describe, but the air seemed charged with expectation and tension as I quietly watched.

The subject of the lone figure appears a lot in Doig’s work – as does the image of of a person alone in a canoe which was inspired by watching Friday 13th.

It’s interesting to see how profound the simple everyday experiences can be as this experience alone influenced Doig for over a decade.

I love it when people like Doig drag me back to reality. Not the normal reality of my everyday – but the reality that tells me that life all around us is charged with energy, with tension with expectation.

If we believe that God sits within creation then what can that mean. How can it be that we can wander around seemingly blind to the over-presence, or hyper-presence, of Creator God in our midst? Is humanity really that blind?

I don’t think humanity is. Instead, I wonder whether experiences like my Doig experience in the Tate Britain a few weeks ago are quiet, but special and profound, encounters with Creator God hides and passively hopes; but a God that speaks through experiences by saying ‘you feel something special; a fundamental, unique but familiar tension here … wake up … that tension which you can feel and experience is flowing from the one who created you.’

As I walk with God today I am going to be reminding myself to look for God in the tension of the ordinary.

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