OACS News Service
Redeemer hosts First Nations art tour with reconciliation
Next up is a Feb. 9 event at Redeemer University College in Ancaster.
Rich in colour and imagination, the paintings depict the death and resurrection of Jesus in an aboriginal context and in what’s known as the Woodlands style, a distinctly First Nations art genre.
“To have that story portrayed from the aboriginal perspective, painted in the Woodlands style is very evocative,” says Steve van de Hoef, justice and reconciliation mobilizer of the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) in North America, which is spearheading the tour.
Van de Hoef notes the paintings provoke searching questions such as what the traditional redemption story has to say within the context of aboriginal culture. They also invite people to think about what the same story says about the relationship between indigenous and non-indigenous people.
Blend this kind of inquiry with the learning the tour also includes — a workshop on the history of colonialism, several on the residential schools and one on God’s call to the Canadian church to participate in reconciliation — and it’s likely the conversation will be more open, van de Hoef says.
“If we bring that attitude of openness that I think something like artwork invites us into, then we’ll be more able to have the dialogue from a place of hospitality and graciousness rather than an attitude of suspicion that is sometimes characteristic of these kinds of conversations,” van de Hoef tells OACS News.
Old Testament theologian Walter Brueggemann has written recently on the place and function of art in transformation.
“It is not the manager, not the ideologues, not
the social activists, not the shrill moralist, right or
left, but the poets who are able — and compelled — to
go to the depth of the crisis and to reach deep into God’s
own conflicted heart,” Brueggemann is quoted in
a paper titled "Art Calling Out Empire."
The OACS News Service is independently written and produced. The stories are researched, written and posted
News Service without prior editorial approval from either
OACS or their members.