Paintings can SING: Hands of HOPE

19th January:

Unsure which way to take my project I began asking myself this question about where to take it? Randomly, while reading a daily devotional that morning (BIOY) it was all about  Prisons.
In spite of the fact that ‘the Lord was with Joseph’, having resisted temptation, he then suffered terrible injustice (v.19 onwards) and ended up confined in prison (v.20). He lost his liberty but not his freedom.

Even in prison, the Lord was with him. He ‘showed him kindness and granted him favour in the eyes of the prison warder’ (v.21). ‘The head jailer put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners – he ended up managing the whole operation’ (v.22, MSG). ‘Because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did’ (v.23).

Your circumstances may not be ideal. You might feel like you are in prison – literally in prison, or confined like a prisoner in your job, a health issue, a difficult relationship or other circumstances. Yet in the midst of all this, if you stay faithful to God, you can experience his presence with you, his favour in the sight of others, and his blessing on your life. This is the ‘pearl… of great value’ (Matthew 13:45–46). This is your most valuable possession.

20th January

Today whilst I was painting in the art studios at university I came across a quote on the wall saying: A photo can say a thousand words, but a painting can sing!” – Alex Evers.

As I saw it I smiled, as I am painting a piece of a pair of hands, in relation to a song I have written called:  Makers Hands.
My friend filmed me painting it that morning and even captured me talking about the piece and why exactly I am painting it. I started the painting as an act of faith and a way of giving my prayers to God, to put it all into His hands. Due to the crazy jounrey of faith He was welcoming me on in this next season, I wanted to surrender it all into His hands and let Him guide me completely. During the film my friend took of me, I spoke in faith that I would be going out to South Africa to meet women from an organisation called “Hands of Hope”, with my hope being that they would experience an element of hope through my painting.
Later on I had the chance to speak to a wonderful tutor from Johannesberg, Robin, to get her advise. This was some of what she mentioned to me:
  • Respect them and ask what they need. And if they need help.
  • Reflective journey.
  • Process of what happened. Expectations.
  • Outcome could be that there is no outcome and that is also ok.
  • LISTEN – so critical. Then you’ll really find out what’s needed.
  • Be ok with breaking ice and having a few conversations with them before truth really comes.
  • Release forms. – protect you and participants. 
  • Think about what sort of filming / documentary you want it to be.
  • Discussion?
  • Look up documentary ideas: Vimeo.Louis Theroux. Like knows like.
  • Video technique: 3/4 seconds before and after shooting. Landscape shooting. Know the setting. Pre film of the context of South Africa.
  • Equipment: Microphone. Tripod. Lit well. 

22nd January

This morning I opened my Bible to ask God to talk to me and it opened at Isaiah 61. And with the extra section all about prisoners and what prisoners face!

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,

 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—

to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendour.

They will rebuild the ancient ruins
 and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.

Strangers will shepherd your flocks;
foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
And you will be called priests of the Lord,
you will be named ministers of our God.
You will feed on the wealth of nations,
 and in their riches you will boast.

Instead of your shame

you will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,
and everlasting joy will be yours.

“For I, the Lord, love justice;
I hate robbery and wrongdoing.
In my faithfulness I will reward my people
and make an everlasting covenant with them.
Their descendants will be known among the nations
and their offspring among the peoples.
All who see them will acknowledge
that they are a people the Lord has blessed.”

I delight greatly in the Lord;
my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

For as the soil makes the sprout come up

and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness
and praise spring up before all nations.

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