They followed that celestial light –
that unnumbered caravan –
until they reached the place where Light still stronger shone.
There on bended knee, they laid.
Gold for a babe not born a Prince, yet King of all.
with earth and hay his humble throne.
Frankincense. praise for an infant.
Thanksgiving not only for a child but for_
eyes flung open to God above, below.
Fragrant myrrh, proclaiming life’s end.
A birth, a death,
a doorway to a greater birth. Bittersweet.
When I started doodling ideas for Epiphany it didn’t take long before I decided I wanted to do a tryptic in a more abstract style, giving the pieces gold frames to reflect the border around an icon. As I started to transfer ideas into colours and final form I found myself drawn towards metallics and iridescents, having previously thought I would keep clear of gold as it was so blinking obvious, it was the fault of the hay.
Despite crib scenes up and down the land, and what we sing in carols, and the traditions that we hold dear, Jesus was no longer in a manger full of hay when the Magi arrived, nevertheless Epiphany is linked to his birth and the revelation that birth in a stable brought to the whole world. Gold the colour of straw, I know it would have been hay in the manger, but once the gold straw was in my mind it wouldn’t leave and the rest flowed. Platinum the colour of incense ash, copper the colour of those early morning rays reflected on that stone rolled clear on Easter morn. The circle of Life, from life to death to life anew, a precious gift for all the world.
Again, like the Christmas Star, the photographing of metallics proved far from simple. I’ve done my best with what I have at my disposal, if anyone out there has any tips on how I could do better then I would love to hear them. Below for those who might be interested is a very gawdy shot, because of the light reflecting off the metalics which I am posting as it shows the texture which was lost when trying not to blind you.