In a Perfect World: Salvation
Let Heaven and Nature Sing is a book created to mimic a rose window when fully opened.
I originally wanted to use a piece of glass. I even ordered a custom piece that is eighteen inches around. But in the early morning, I had an idea. What about a book bound simply in the middle? It would simplify my life and it is a better fit within the entire Advent series.
The inspiration for the book came when reading Psalms 98 and writing about it for the Calvary Advent Book. Later, when singing “Joy to the World,” I thought about how Psalms is full of depictions of nature worshiping God.
As I wrote in my previous post,
I loved the idea of nature praising God. The imagery of the sea reminded me of an exhibit of Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Seascapes that I saw a few years ago at the Hirshhorn. As I worked on Brink of Wholeness for Sallie, I thought about the words of Joy to the World. “Let heaven and nature sing.”
I began searching for scripture that discussed nature praising God. Ultimately I focused on three chapters of Psalms: Psalms 96, Psalms 98, Psalms 148.
Then the challenge was to find images that I could use. That was really hard! Until I found this incredibly beautiful photos by Hosanna Loh. As I clicked through her gallery, I was able to find one of almost every image that I needed. It was perfect. I felt so lucky to have found her. But all I had to do was google nature and praise. She had a similar idea of capturing the beauty of God’s creation. She has created a gallery of her work at www.naturespraise.com. Each pictures is paired with a verse, which are available for sale or for free use for purposes of worship with Hosanna’s permission. All of the images from the book are her originals with the exception of the star. It was taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. Talking about amazing!
I used the stained glass filter in Photoshop to go from Hosanna’s gorgeous picture of a sunset
to this image of a mosaic sunset.
Each panel includes an element of nature paired with a verse from Psalms. When you read each panel out loud, it almost sings, repeating itself when you return to the top.
Let the sea resound and all that is in it.
Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;
Let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.
Let the rivers clap their hands,
Let the mountains sing together for joy;
Praise him, sun and moon.
Praise him all you shining stars.
Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,
lightening and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding,
…wild animals and all cattle,
… and Flying birds…
I love the idea that nature is continuously praising God in its very act of being. Even we are busy and forget, nature has not fallen down on its job. It makes me realize the importance of respecting nature and try to be a more mindful steward of the environment. Without it, we simply would not exist. And the sheer beauty of nature gives me some much pleasure beyond its life-sustaining qualities. What a wonderful gift we have been given.
The panels are printed individually on vellum paper and then laminated with a super thick laminate, which I first discovered at The Scrap Exchange years ago. They are then bound together by a screw post with a small circular cover on the front and the back. I would like a one inch brass screw post instead of the longer nickel one shown here. Fortunately that is a quick fix upon finding the post!
Although I regret that the laminate makes it especially hard to capture the images. And today was so incredibly hectic that my lighting was very poor. These photos do not do my work justice, nor Hosanna’s beautiful pictures. So I must take better pictures of the pieces once we return from the holidays. But I wanted to share it with you before Christmas.
Let Heaven and Nature Sing is the fourth piece I created for In a Perfect World, a series celebrating the 2010 Advent Season. These are the six words for which I created work: Justice, Peace, Wholeness, Salvation, Grace, and Gratitude.
Here is a post about this piece in process.
I love the rose window book! Simple and beautiful.
Thanks, Sara! That means a lot.
I hope that you are getting to take a little break from all of your work now.