‘Rebirth and Reminders’

Reflections

In this new series on how art intersects with faith, Year 11 FCAC student Hannah Stanton shares how oil painting brings her back to what is important in life’s busyness: “The coins in the artwork represent the story in Luke 21.1-4 where a widow donated what she could despite her own shortcomings – to me the coins represent resilience and doing what one can even when the odds are against you”

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How my art intersects with my faith

‘Rebirth and Reminders’ was created as a tribute to my faith. I painted the piece using oil paints, which enhanced the deep vibrancy of the piece, breathing life into the symbols throughout ‘Rebirth and Reminders’. Creating the artwork drew me closer to my faith that I believe was weakened overtime; life gets busy and you begin to forget what is truly important. And so, I have reconnected with what I had lost. With this in mind, the artwork was named ‘Rebirth and Reminders’ to represent my personal links to my faith and how it has changed me spiritually.

Symbols of the Christian faith are found wherever the eye meets – doves and dominating olive leaves, church windows, rosary beads and coins can be observed. The coins in the artwork represent the story in Luke 21.1-4 where a widow donated what she could despite her own shortcomings – to me the coins represent resilience and doing what one can even when the odds are against you. However, as I have placed the coins in a dark aspect of the piece, a sense of failure and of being consumed is felt. This symbolises the monopoly of modern ‘charity giving’, which is something I have struggled with in the past; therefore, I want to learn how to give without expecting applause or gratification.

‘Rebirth and Reminders’ by Hannah Stanton

Such gospel stories have been told to me as a child, sticking with me throughout my life. As a consequence, the subject is looking at the symbols with intent – she looks to them to remind herself of the values of God. A representation of how I have felt in my life, especially, when life can be congested with misplaced priorities. Therefore, I must remind myself of the words of God to become a better version of myself.

The blue rosary beads are a constant reminder of my faith. With so many distractions in life, it is hard to keep focus on what is right, especially, when you get caught up in the whims of yourself and others. The rosary beads sit proudly on my bedside table, serving as a reminder to myself. Every time I close my eyes to go to sleep and every time I open them, I see the beads which remind me to reflect on my day, how I acted and what can I change to grow into the person who can confidently stand in God’s grace.

It is hard in this day and age to believe in God – the world is now consumed with questions. You hear comparisons between God and the fabled Loch Ness Monster, and I am ashamed to admit that it waivers my belief; but then I remember who I turn to when I cannot turn anymore – who guides me through the desert. I truly want to believe that there’s a higher power that gives meaning to this world, that makes the unjust…just. I want to believe that the world is not an empty space of coincidences.

And so, every day I work towards lifting my beliefs and getting better at doing good for the sake of doing good without expecting applause or gratification for my actions. Creating this artwork strengthened my connection with my Anglican faith.

Hannah Stanton painting ‘Rebirth and Reminders’: “I painted the piece using oil paints, which enhanced the deep vibrancy of the piece, breathing life into the symbols throughout”

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