If you attended our Diocesan Hui, you hopefully glimpsed Joe McMenamin’s wonderful painting in progress. The completed acrylic and ink on woodgrain piece is entitled “In Your Hands.” We believe this is a significant work that speaks of God’s call to our Diocese for this season.
Joe’s thoughts on the painting: “The old hands have a feeling of being strong, working hands. They could represent God’s hands, or the strong caring people in our society. The piwakawaka (fantail) represents the fragile members of our society/community. The bird could fly away but is happy, at the moment, to perch in the strong, old hands. The patterns coming from the bird’s beak represent the birdsong. This song goes out and then comes around and blends into the hands, giving them their strength. The weak is sustaining the strong and in turn the strong is sustaining the weak.”
From our Diocesan perspective: This fits so well with our deep sense of calling in this season as a Diocese. We are here to hold those who are struggling, and they, in turn, offer us back such wonderful gifts and strength. The beauty of struggling fragility and strength join together. We all experience this in our own fragility in the hands of God. Despite our weaknesses, together we can be strong for others.
The song of the bird reminds us that the voice of the poor has always called, inspired, and challenged the Church. Also note the three white feathers in the source of the birdsong –without realising this connection to Parikhaka, Joe painted this in a prophetic way that connects our journey on the Parikhaka Day—the day of our Diocesan Hui!
Joe McMenamin is a painter and printmaker based in Lower Hutt. The flowing organic patterns that ripple through his works have won him a following throughout New Zealand. Joe has a Bachelor of Media Arts from the Waikato Institute of Technology. He is a secondary school art teacher and produces many of his art works at school, where his students experience first-hand the different processes involved in his prints, drawings and paintings. He is married to the Reverend Sarah McMenamin.
On his experience at Hui, “Painting at the Hui was a lot of fun! I really enjoy painting in public. The interactions and conversations I have with people about the work help me to develop the ideas further than if I was painting in the studio.”
Watch this space; the painting might be auctioned off.
To see more of Joe’s art go to: www.joemcmenamin.com