The Spirit in Motion, sterling silver on cedar; collaborative work created by wood artist Margaret Bailey and jewelry artist Nancy Denmark. Both artists are parishioners at The Church of the Epiphany, Houston and are members of the ECVA-Texas Chapter.
Reflection written by Mel Ahlborn for exhibition on The Episcopal Cafe
This work of art is titled 'The Spirit in Motion', and upon close examination we can see that it does a fine job of illustrating both the immanence and the transcendence of God.
Put simply, the concept of God as immanent speaks to the God of our intellectual and sensory understanding, and addresses those aspects of God that we as humans are able to discern and comprehend. Motion, the moving through time and space, is a quality that we are able to recognize, understand, and even reproduce with a fair amount of ease. The artists' use of 'Motion' in this piece suggests God's energies moving throughout the earth, evoking a clear understanding of God as immanent in the world.
God is both knowable and unknowable, and there are aspects and qualities of God that we are not able to assess, measure, or even describe. God's unknowableness can be thought of as the 'transcendence' of God, the 'transcendent' God, the ephemeral God of our faith beyond our human understanding. The artists' inclusion of 'Spirit' depicts the transcendence of God, through the use of a symbol for Spirit, the dove.
With this idea in mind that God is both knowable and unknowable, we can view art with room for faith to grow. God is both immanently present in our daily and at the same time is transcendently present. Art can assist us in cultivating a wholesome awareness of both.