The Snail, Sunflower Seeds and the Royal Wedding

Happy Easter, everyone!

Our parish priest said that 40 days of fasting in Lent should be followed by 50 days of feasting. And what better way to celebrate the Easter octave than in today’s big event – the wedding of Catherine Middleton and Prince William. It seems half the world’s press is here in London. Royal wedding memorabilia are everywhere, schools and towns have scheduled different activities, banners, flags and buntings express support for the royal couple and there are even street parties . Join the party and check the latest updates on the official website. You can even watch the wedding live on YouTube Royal Channel wherever you are!

We wish Kate and Wills all the blessings on this momentous occasion and pray that their love and commitment will deepen and grow stronger each day.

I went to the Tate Modern and was moved by two obras: Matisse’s The Snail and Ai Weiwei’s Sunflower Seeds.

I was struck by the simplicity and lively colour of this huge frame ( 2864 x 2870 mm) and thought maybe I can do something like that myself. The information on the work reads:

The Snail is one of the last and largest pieces in Matisse’s final series of works, known as cut-outs. Confined to bed through illness, he had assistants paint sheets of paper in gouache which he then cut. The shell of a snail inspired the spiralling arrangement of roughly cut pieces of paper. Compared to his earlier paintings, Matisse believed that he had gained ‘greater completeness and abstraction’ in the cut-outs. ‘I have attained a form filtered to its essentials’, he remarked.

The other work which inspired me was a sculpture of a different kind.

Sunflower Seeds is made up of millions of small works, each apparently identical, but actually unique. However realistic they may seem, these life-sized sunflower seed husks are in fact intricately hand-crafted in porcelain. VIDEO

I was impressed by the skill of hundreds of Chinese craftsmen/women and Weiwei’s genius in harnessing this art which is slowly dying because of low market demand. But to actually walk alongside 100 million seeds in a massive hall is a religious experience. I thought of the ancient art of porcelain, the people who made them, the oppressive environment they live in, and the economic situation of the entire world.

Then suddenly, I kind of ‘saw’ Jesus walking among the sunflower seeds and one by one each shoot up with the majestic yellow flower and turned their heads to sing “Hosanna to our King”! Yes, in each of us is the seed of life, the potential for greatness, a share in the divine craft of re-creating the universe. We just need the proper soil, the sun and rain and a careful gardener to coax bumper growth from the tiniest of seeds. And time, a lot of time…

Sickness, oppression, bankruptcy, even death is not the last word. Matisse’s illness did not stop his art. China’s hand-crafted porcelain continues despite global trade restrictions, thanks to Ai Weiwei (who was arrested early this month by Chinese authorities and remains in custody). Increasing divorce rates, royal scandals and painful memories have not impeded William and Kate in making their commitment to one another in marriage.

There is hope. There is life. There is love. Because HE is risen, HE lives and will come again. ALLELUIA!


About rosefsp

I am a religious sister (yes, a nun!) from the Daughters of St Paul whose mission is to share the Good News. I love to read, write and take photos.
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3 Responses to The Snail, Sunflower Seeds and the Royal Wedding

  1. emeL says:

    excellent MaRo… I was waiting for this and not disappointed! KUDOS!!

  2. precy says:

    For the simple but deep insights, thank you.
    For giving importance to things that I might not consider worth my second look, thank you.
    For inserting and proclaiming Jesus in the internet, thank you even more.
    For challenging me to do also…….may I find the right path… the grace to follow through…..

    more power to you….

    • rosefsp says:

      Oh, Ate Precy, thank you for your comments and the kind words.
      Each of us has been given a gift – and I am sure you are already doing this without being fully aware of it. Some have the gift of words, others the gift of images, others the gift of sound, others the gift of being present and still others the facility of sharing the good they receive.
      In essence we are but conductors through which grace, like electricity, flows and gives light, life and energy. Or in the words of Primo Maestro, we are but “pens in the hand of God ” who writes his masterpiece in our life. The challenge is to be open and allow him to do that. If one makes a mistake, there’s always an eraser that can clear up the errors.
      I have to remind myself often that it’s not me, it’s him and his.

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