The Art of Isabelle Robinson
Process Theology in Three Images
When broken objects lose their function and are discarded as being useless, they lose their very reason for being. By uniting them into a new wholeness, Isabelle Robinson aims at rediscovering their innate beauty, giving them a new identity which goes beyond what they can “do”. In that space where the broken meet, they can become whole again and find new life.
The pieces of her art, and by implications the pieces of our lives, are relational in nature. They carry within them an aim to unite what is foreign, divided and broken into something new and whole. The relations are not separate from the fractures. We ourselves are among the pieces, the fractured ones. The relations emerge in the fractures, the dents, the places where the pieces of our lives, and we ourselves, recognize and accept each other in our relationship to the whole, in our shared humanity. The coming together is not done by force but finding common ground.
– Jay McDaniel and Isabelle Robinson, January 8, 2023
The Ground from which we Grow
The Way We Nest
This is my most personal piece, the concrete piece comes from my childhood home and the oyster shell comes from my current home. Both pieces so far from each other and yet forming a whole. Home with a capital H. Across time and space.
The Ground from which we Grow is the community of life on Earth: the Earth Community. The Ground is not the soil alone. It includes the many forms of life to whom we are kin; the animals and plants, the hills and rivers, the trees and stars. The Ground is also the past actual world: personal and collective. It is what has happened to us, some of it chosen and much of it not chosen. Above the ground is the Sky, a symbol for the fresh possibilities that are available to us, moment by moment, to create living wholes from the Ground. These fresh possibilities are one way that the very soul of the universe – God – is within us, God is a perpetual lure toward whole-making within us and beyond us. God is what helps us grow from our grounds.
The Way we Nest is entanglement, inter-becoming. Entanglement is not always good. We can be entangled in ways both healthy and unhealthy, pleasant and unpleasant, just and unjust. But always we are entangled. There is nothing in the universe that is not nested within larger contexts and, ultimately, an expansive Nest. The expansive Nest is entangled love. It is God understood a harmony of harmonies: a harmony that includes the fragments of the universe. God, the expansive Nest, is a verb not a noun, an act of cosmic nesting. God is Nesting in love. We are made in God’s image; our vocation is to grow into God’s likeness. It is to build nests of love in our small corner of the world, trusting that they are part of a wider nest, a larger love, the deep Nesting.
Home is a healing place. It is not only where we are and where we have been; it is also who we can become relative to where we have been. It is in the future as well as the past. Home is an activity. It is creative transformation or whole making (fragments into wholes). Understood in this way, Home is as natural as experience itself. Every experience is an activity of bringing many fragments into a unique whole, and every experience contains within itself an impulse, a desire, that they be gathered in ways that are harmonious and intense, or beautiful. The lure toward beauty within life is still another way that God is present. God is the lure toward Beauty, toward Home. The beauty is not static, it is always in process. Home is arriving Home, creating Home, again and again, until, in the words of TS Eliot, we “arrive at the place we started and know it for the first time.” This arrival is in process, too. Always, in a deep way, we are coming Home.
– Jay McDaniel
Article originally published here