Peace Angel, Acrylic with gold leaf on canvas panel, 60cm x 60cm
Christianity and the Visual Arts
Peace Angel, Acrylic with gold leaf on canvas panel, 60cm x 60cm
Saints from the Suburbs series: The adoration of the shepherds, Acrylic on canvas, 122cm x 122cm
Saints from the Suburbs series: Madonna and Child, Acrylic on canvas, 122cm x 122cm
Saints from the Suburbs series: The flight into Egypt, Acrylic on canvas, 122cm x 122cm
The Word became flesh, Silkscreen print, 70cm x 86cm
Song of Mary, Silkscreen print, 70cm x 86cm
The birth of Christ, Acrylic on canvas, 122cm x 122cm
Old Friary, 139 Brookfield Road, Kenmore Hills
Through many centuries artists have regularly pictured the biblical stories as happening in their own settings, with the people in the stories, including Jesus, visualised as belonging to the artist’s own ethnic group. This was something that David Binns often did, particularly in his “Saints from the Suburbs” series, three of which are on display here. This approach is also seen in some of the gouache stencils by Geraldine Wheeler, including “Mother and Child with Australian Native Flowers”, and Jennii Gould, writer and illustrator of children’s books, has chosen to show the delight of Australian native animals as they encounter the Christ child.
Some of the other work in this exhibition draws upon the local setting in other ways, relating to family Christmas celebrations or expressing more personal experiences of the time of Advent moving towards Christmas. The works of Gwenda Branjerdporn depict the ways that her grandchildren celebrate, Bernice Ross reflects on the world beyond the window and we see the themes of death and new life/birth in the work of Virginia Hasker, “New Life from Old”, and Jennifer Long’s “Advent Journey (Day and Night)”. This latter work explores the spiritual depths of facing both death and birth as an Advent experience, reflecting this also by using the purple jacaranda colour which we see around us at this time in the branches above and the fallen flowers below the trees. In Geraldine Wheeler’s “O come, O come, Emmanuel” depicting the choir singing Christmas carols in the Queen Street Mall (a bit out dated since the latest building changes), we see another local setting for Advent and the prayer which many Christians sing at this time.
The mother and child theme is viewed in parallel ways as we look at David Binns’ “Madonna and Child” in a Brisbane setting and Gabriella Veidt-Wiedmer’s “Safe” which reflects the enormous dilemma for refugees across the world today. We often see the sign “Jesus was a refugee” outside churches and David Binns’ “Flight into Egypt” suggests the Holy Family about to catch a Queensland Rail train to escape.
Four of the works use both words/letters and images to express the artists’ thinking. Two of David Binns’ works, “The Word Became Flesh” and “Mary’s Song”, do this as does also “Peace Angel” by Karen Hales. Geraldine Wheeler’s “Magnificat” places the Greek text from Luke 1:46-47 behind the figure of Mary. Her “Chi-Rho: Jacaranda and Poinciana” also uses the Greek letters which are transliterated as Chr and are regularly used to summarise the title, Christ, as in the abbreviation of Christmas as Xmas. This reflects back to the large pages in the mediaeval manuscripts, the Lindisfarne Gospel and the Book of Kells, where the highly decorated, so-called “chi-rho pages” introduce the verse in Matthew’s Gospel chapter 1:18, which begins the section telling of the birth of Jesus, the Christ.
Other works in the exhibition point to the mystery of the work of God in Christ in more abstract ways, as do those of Kerry Holland, for whom the crochet doily carries much symbolism. Jenny Phillips’ explorations in colour express a wide range of feeling associated with colour for many people, some highly celebratory, others more sombre. In the entry vestibule we can also find ourselves in the midst of the roadside grasses and flowers as seen by Gabriella Veidt-Wiedmer as she walked a camino in Switzerland, her home country. The Advent journey is to be one of prayer as well as a time of hectic preparation and shopping.
Finally we have the ceramic works of Rita Ringma which, in their three dimensional form, show us another way we are able to express the deeper meaning of Christmas in the way that we use decorations in the home and the other places where we celebrate.
This exhibition by artists from the ecumenical group known as Visionaries at the Brookfield Centre for Spirituality, the Old Friary, enables not only an Advent celebration towards Christmas, but also, a celebration of the work of one of our founding artist/advisors, Rev. David Binns, long associated with this centre, and also an artist who had the passion for visualising the biblical story in his local setting. Our thanks to all at the Brookfield Centre who have made this exhibition possible.
Geraldine Wheeler, 2017
2. All Equal at His Table: nod to Boveve, 60cm x 60xm, Acrylic on canvas
2. Sunrise Bowl, Stoneware with porcelain, shino glaze, reduction fired.
3. Blue spotted White Bowl, Southern Ice porcelain bowl.
Interested in Kerry’s work? She can be contacted on:
Come to the Table, 100cm x 70cm, Oil on canvas
In Charcoal and Lace vessels act like silent observers of life and landscape. Grouped as a suite they sit on a threshold seeming to balance between a real and imagined world. Are they looking out or in and what do they observe? Their form and elements of architecture hint at the human presence.
On plywood, collage elements sourced from personally etched rice paper, solvent released images and torn paper have been assembled with oil paint, charcoal and ink, in a still life montage of memory and imagination.
2. Little Brown Jug, 60cm x 60cm, Mixed media.
In ‘Little Brown Jug’ the vessels are part of my collection of life’s fragments. Their scarified forms reveal marks and textures of daily rituals. They hold an abundance which hints at what life offers. Grouped as a suite the vessels of mixed media on ply act like silent observers balancing between the real and imagined world.
3. On the Edge, 43cm x 43cm, Mixed media on ply
In this work are revealed observations of internal and external landscapes. The vessel is used as a recurring emblem to suggest the human presence. Three vessels perch on a table before a curtained window silently observing life’s passing, their surfaces reflecting the memories and marks of that passage. They balance on the threshold between metaphorical and physical realms.
The image is a collaged work of mixed media – etched and solvent release transfers on ricepaper, oil and charcoal on ply.
Interested in Jennifer Long’s work? She can be contacted on:
or visit her website at:
The Advent exhibition at Brookfield is to have suitably themed work with an Australian setting or symbols. This will also relate to much of the work by one of the original advisors, the late Rev. David Binns, whose “Saints from the Suburbs” series gave a Brisbane setting to his re-picturing of the biblical story. Dr. Lindsay Farrell will deliver the David Binns Memorial Lecture at Brookfield on Wednesday, October 25th.
Opening of Exhibition: December 8 until after Christmas. More details to come.
The Last Supper, Acrylic and gouache on canvas, varnished with gold leaf, 110 cm x 190cm.
My name is Murhaf Obeid, I am from (Homs, Syria)
After I finished my last academy studies in Topography I went to Paulist’s convent in Harissa- Lebanon, in 2001. And I got a bachelor degree of Science in Philosophy and Theology, 2009. Then I studied all the courses to get Master degree in Church Science (marriage and family) in Suggest University, Beirut, but still working on the final research about Paul Evdokimov.
In 2006, I followed an iconography class for about one year by the iconographer: Nicolas Majdalani, in Lebanon, then In May/ 2014, June/ 2015 I went to Minsk- Belarus and completed a 12 days master-class in painting and gelding icons.
I Participated in drawing icons for a book about old Christian fathers, translated into Arabic by Bishop Joseph Jbara, and drawing celebrity’s profile pictures for “The history of Arabic literature” book (written by Hanna Fakhoury)/2008
2014-2016 I was responsible of writing the main icons of three churches in Beirut, Lebanon.
Want to know more about Murhaf and his work? Contact him on email@example.com