...aka I look up a thesaurus for Illustrated Bible
"Road to Emmaus" by Adam Howie
A couple of years back someone asked me, after seeing my art, if I had ever thought about creating an illustrated bible. The idea rattled around for a while and eventually I decided that it would be a interesting project. So, for almost two years now I have been slowly working, in a roundabout sort of way, on an illustrated bible. With the hope that at some point I will have amassed enough creative output to either output an art book or even somehow make a bible with the artwork inserted.
As for why I would be so interested in creating one, well, first off I believe that art can enhance a text, be it scripture, or poetry, or whatever. It can also detract is not done correctly. Secondly the bible is a rich tapestry full of sumptuous stories, tales, poems, and powerful images and words that forge intense images in our minds and hearts. Which makes it perfect for artists to be inspired by and have their own views on the words and the powerful imagery.
There are of course people who prefer words over images, they are drawn to and love the power and prose of the written word. For me however, certainly increasingly, it is the image that draws my heart and mind deeper, a single image can be as complex as a essay, as intricate as an novel, and as enthralling as the best prose.
There is a proud tradition thankfully within the christian world of creating beautiful illustrated, and illuminated, bibles. The skill and craft of countless people through the ages has produced beautiful collections, and standalone, works of art. For me one of the most beautiful artworks of Christ isn't from an illustrated bible, rather its Dali's “Christ of St John of the Cross”, which is an odd choice I know, but there is something intangible about it,
In some way thats what I think is important about art (and all creative works). That is that you can't always explain why something moves you, or how it is you can spend all day looking at, listening to, reading, something. For me its because there is that part of us that seeks creativity, it is, for me, a part of the “made in the image of God” we all share. God is a creative being, God loves to create, and God shared that love and passion with us, we are a creative species, be it in the arts, technology, philosophy, whatever, we are driven towards creativity.
So as I work, slowly it seems, creating images, sometimes on purpose, sometimes by accident, I am always in need of new ideas for what parts of the bible people would enjoy seeing created as art? What piece of scripture would intrigue you to see in illustrated form? If you have any ideas, please share them. Perhaps there are some illustrated/illuminated bibles or individual works of art that you find powerful, please share them as well.
You can keep track on my progress here on my home blog:
Or my artwork in general through my work site:
Thanks to headphonaught for the use of his blogspace :)
Adam “Lurch Kimded” Howie