Harbinger

Edit Artwork | Wallhanging by Josh Tiessen | Artists for Conservation
Fieldset

Harbinger

Wallhanging
Dimensions:
24.00" H x 15.00" W
Medium:
Oil
Year Completed:
2015
Subject(s):
Barn Owl
Original for Sale:
SOLD
Available as Ltd Edition:
No
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On my night side table I keep a sketchbook for ideas that come to me as I read and sleep. Reading in the book of Isaiah about the destruction of Babylon [i], the description of wild animals inhabiting abandoned cities became an inspiration. Suddenly a flurry of ideas came for a new series, depicting animals in deserted spaces, bringing honour to their Creator [ii] and figuratively calling for redemption in the wake of moral decline. I have been interested in gothic architecture and owls, so both of these came together for the first painting in this series. I designed a shaped braced panel, which has a 2” depth on the top and ½” on the bottom, giving the appearance that the top of the painting is leaning forward. The tall, narrow shape of Gothic cathedrals was intended to cause the viewer to look upward. The symbolic features in this style of architecture captivated me. The three-leaf design, called a “trefoil” symbolized the trinity, and the four-leaf “quatrefoil” symbolized the four apostles. As I was painting, I thought about the meaning I wanted to infuse in the three statues through added symbols. These are meant to be read chronologically from left to right, symbolizing archetypes of Israelite history, including the book inscribed “Zion,” the scroll, and dagger with cross. Ultimately, the crumbling cathedral forms a backdrop of the past, and the living owl reflects the glory of the light, standing as a harbinger of the one who would make a way in the wilderness for the coming Redeemer [iii]. [i] Isaiah 13:19 [ii] Isaiah 43: 20 [iii] Isaiah 40:3, John 1:23

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