Friday, April 27, 2007

how to look at a painting: book of the month

howtolookatapainting.jpg I am loving this book, How to look at a painting. New Zealand art curator, Justin Paton walks us through art over the ages. Each chapter pauses at an artpiece, inviting you to look at the luscious fruit of Italy’s Caravaggio, the lonely landscapes of New Zealand’s Rita Angus, the dazzling panoramas of America’s Lari Pittman and the mysterious “tombstones” of Japanese artist On Kawara.

It is a gorgeously written book, a real page turner, (truly a rare phrase to use for a book on art), written with wit and style, making it a deserving winner of the 2006 Montana New Zealand Book Award.

Justin makes art approachable, making me want to race into an art gallery. I also read this book as a worship practitioner. There is lots in here that sparks my creativity and makes me think about worship in new and fresh ways. I’m off to ponder worship as texture and worship as colour. But not until after I’ve visited my local art gallery.

Posted by steve at 10:57 PM


  1. Kia ora Hipene,

    I first read you post titled, “so tell me how singing worship works” ? I found it interesting that you’ve articulated this as I have been in conversation about this for a while up here. I directed your link to some of the people involved in worship at ‘ the place ‘ and I got the following response from someone who is a good mate of mine, so don’t be alarmed at his tone –

    …. “No, I will not let you pull me into another ridiculous conversation about this subject. Tell that ignoramus pastor from your hometown that – at the end of the day – it’s not our need to feel something visceral that compels us to sing. We sing because the scriptures tell us to. Not only is it commanded and narrated throughout the Old Testament as the most dominant form of community worship, but it is constantly commanded throughout the New Testament. Examples?

    Ephesians 5:19Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    colossians 3:6Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

    Is worship defined beyond the words we sing? Yes (Romans 12). Has the evangelical church reduced ‘worship’ to some ecstatic feeling while singing ‘love songs’ to my boyfriend Jesus. Yes. But, come on Tangira, we are not those people.

    I’m going to turn the argument around and say that I think it is your personalized self- unfulfilling need to feel something during music that is the true issue here. So stop poking holes and those who are being obedient to scripture and start living in obedience to the living God.

    There … take that … you Kiwi @#$%^&!!!

    Author shall remain anonymous.

    So what do you think Steve, Is that the response we should expect from a ‘sensitive’ artist/musician ?… does he in fact make some good points ?… by the way, he thinks you’re purposely being insincere and are basically sh*~ stirring… Or are you serious, I mean you can’t deny the scriptural precedence for singing and music as a primary worship expression….

    By the way, the book looks interesting. I’m actually finding art as more of an inspiration to worship than singing songs. But can art inspire corporate worship like music does ?… Or should art be there to compliment what we normally do in corporate worship ?

    Naku na,


    Comment by Tangira — April 28, 2007 @ 9:36 am

  2. Tangira,

    I starting reading the book AFTER making the post on singing. (I am also going to re-paste your comment into the singing post).

    Tell your friend that in the Bible they also used rams horns and sung in Hebrew and separated men from women. and then there is Isaiah 1:10ff – worship as acts of lifestyle justice. So if he going to apply a simple “Bible says, so obey it,” then are those part of his/her “Biblically obedient worship”?

    my question was serious and your mate is doing me an injustice by writing me off as stirring.

    peace to you and may your friend enjoy worship with their rams horn this sunday


    Comment by steve — April 28, 2007 @ 11:06 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.