Visual Arts 2023

The Conversation

Artist: Rik Berry, ValleyGate Vineyard
Acrylic on Canvas

From the Artist:

Matthew 5:23, 24

When Jesus left his disciples  and ascended to heaven with his followers watching, they continued waiting together in the upper room for the gift Jesus had promised them. Those days most likely were full of reflection and remembering. One thing for sure, where the followers were gathered, there must have been relational tension. Jesus’ words from the Sermon on the Mount may have come to mind. A person at the altar should leave their offering to first go work out a relationship, if someone holds something against them.

In the image there are two people facing each other. My interest was in the moment of relief as an earnest and loving conversation has taken two people to the treasure of a new beginning. This is the miracle of the body of Christ. God nudges believers to come together where a conversation unburdens two people. One is visibly overjoyed by something; the other finishes a thought. Both have reached an understanding, a moment. The clasped hands signify the spontaneous communion where both connect and both are healed. The sky is filled with overarching branches, cool in colour at the top. They reflect the tension in such a conversation. As the branches descend, the colours warm, reminiscent of arteries pulsing with life. From below, maybe in response, life is found in the warm green of life emerging.  

The sense I have is that too many believers hold themselves back from this moment by not trusting God’s nudge, or by hiding behind the religious facade that they must look like they are ok. But it was in this very messy upper room environment that the Holy Spirit was given to them… and maybe these conversations prepared them to become a cohesive reflection of Christ, deferring to one another.