Dim’ Gal is not only the smallest gallery in New Zealand, (which is as small as a shop window display) but also the newest one; open since December 2011. Because of its window display style, it is essentially a 24hr-viewing gallery. In the upcoming month of June, Dim’ Gal is going to show cast Marc Daniel McFadyen’s photography exhibition “ The Prophets “ for 3 weeks from 5th to 24th. It’s under the Fringe programme of the 2012 Auckland photography festival.
The Prophets is an exploration in Biblical interpretation through the photographic medium. Using images to illustrate phrases spoken through Old Testament prophets. Rather than an objective interpretation, McFadyen takes the verses and translates the intensity, urgency and hope into a visual expression by way of the elements of nature.
McFadyen finds the intensity and beauty of nature to be in direct correlation; a reciprocal relationship to the heart of God. An image is titled “Your gentleness has made me great” written by the Psalmist King David. McFadyen translates the awesomeness of David’s revelation visually through the allegorical wonder of nature reflecting the characteristics of God and His unsearchable greatness.
Marc McFadyen has been shooting photos since the age of 15 and over the years he has used this medium to express his love for cultures, languages and people. Born and raised in the cultural melting pot of West Auckland, Marc has a New Zealand Fijian background and relates a lot of his work to immigrants and the situations they face when settling in a new country.
Marc also employs his photographic skills to reveal the beauty in the mundane, insignificant and often overlooked realities of life. His approach is based on “God’s glory fills the whole earth” He looks at life full of hope, not with his head in the sand, but still looking for the best in man and woman.
McFadyen returned to New Zealand in November 2010 after spending 13 years living abroad. Below are his past exhibitions.
Dreama McFadyen was house sitting for a couple and took care of their rabbit “ Morrie “ during the holidays. Morrie’s cage is located in the corner of the kitchen and Dreama would let her out everyday in the afternoon. Morrie was really relaxing and enjoying the open area inside the house. Sometimes she looked out to the bush by the balcony sliding door, sometimes she hid beneath the shelf, and sometimes she would lift up one leg to lean on the wall and indolently rest by the plant after she played around. It was fresh and interesting to see Morrie’s reaction with the environment.
During the house-sitting period, Dreama sketched a series of images inspired by the new environment. Some of them are about Morrie. She framed these 3 images as a candle screen, and the concept is from the prism. When the candle lights up, it shines through 3 images of Morrie’s reaction with the environment. When people use this candle and the candle screen, the light indirectly reacts with its environment and space. It’s a triple reaction- Morrie reacting to her environment, Dreama reacting through her interpretation of Morrie in drawings, and finally the audience’s reaction viewing the candle screen in its proposed space.
Reaction – An exhibition of TCAC Members Art (A Group show)
Location: Upstairs Gallery (Titirangi Community Arts Council, Level ONE, Lopdell House, 418 Titirangi Road, Titirangi)
Opening night: 6pm~8pm, Thursday 15th March 2012
Open daily 10am ~ 4.30pm, on display until Sunday, 8th April 2012
The visual images presented are a collection taken of the playful way children might build dwellings using furniture and blankets. Most of us adults will recollect that at some point in our childhood our playfulness was expressed in this manner of activity. McFadyen’s project aims to look at the psychological underpinning that forms the basis of a child’s need for refuge, specifically in the context of the activity of building dwellings.
Why is it that children at an early age have a disposition to create a dwelling place, a hideout, home or hut? On the surface it appears as something relatively innate and simple. Yes, children are playful, but does it point to a deeper longing or urge? McFadyen’s exploration of this activity brought him to several conclusions. His understanding reveals that in all of us, no matter child or adult, there is a resonating desire to have a place of refuge, a dwelling in which we can feel safe, have control over, decorate and develop to our personality’s flavour. More profoundly, it can be linked to the earliest phase of dwellings that every human has experienced- the womb of their mother. This place was the ultimate refuge, a life-giving place that created and forged a bond between mother and child. There is a sense of being enveloped and safe in a warm and comfortable environment.
The second conclusion McFadyen attempts to illustrate is the fantastical way children imagine and strive to interpret their otherworldly visions. There is a mix of fantasy and exploring of the unknown that enters our playfulness. Crudely, we may label it whimsical, but in actuality it is our constitution, which demands to explore the eternal and unlimited. We are designed to be playful because in reality it is the catalyst to discovery and creativity. The greatest inventors and artists all carried with them a certain degree of playfulness or whimsicality.
The visual aesthetic McFadyen employs to describe these two points is grasped in the images by showing a soft inviting feel, warm colours and palpable texture. This is his rendering of a mother’s womb, equally meaningful because he has used a blanket to create the effect. A blanket is an allegorical symbol of refuge and comfort, which the womb itself performs. The blanket is blurred with a slow shutter speed and gentle movement which links to the mother’s movements carrying the unborn foetus. The language of the otherworldly dimension incorporates leather furniture in a more emphatic allusion. McFadyen, wanted to create an atmosphere that reaches into the spiritual. It is purposely abstract to reference the often-abstract imaginations of a child’s playfulness. It is shot from a low perspective and the leather sofa looms over us to create awe as though we are entering another realm and embarking on exploration.
You were in my way on that day. I asked you to move, that I might shoot what I wanted. You looked a little rough and tough- probably why no one else was sitting next to you. I thought I was being polite, explaining my assignment and asking you to move. Out of frame, you complied, more than happy to oblige.
Started clicking away, click, click, click… nup, crap.
The shot was right there from the start. “Hey bro, sorry can you move back in the frame?” (I was too self-conceited to see soul- you tucked it away. Hubris never recognises humility.)
We boarded the train and you paid our tickets as though we were your children.
You disembarked at Kingsland station- obviously the land where kings like yourself live.
King Solomon wrote the most profound and romantic poetry of love between the bride and the bridegroom. The love is so tangible and thick. This kind of love sustains me and feeds me from my inner being and my experiences.
Sharon in Hebrew is originally referred to the plain and fertile area in Israel. Sharon was a very fruitful place, and famous for roses. “ I am the rose of Sharon” states the awakened love of the bride, and the gentle and unconditional love from the bridegroom which make her begin to realize the deeper dimension of who she is, and she begins to recognize she is special, significant and beautiful like the rose.
Personally, I love flowers very much; especially roses, and the white roses are my favourite ones because white represents purity and distinctive love. Once I dreamed of making paper roses in bed, I started to practise what I did in my dream when I woke up. From this dream on, I extended and designed the paper roses in different colours and sizes as decorative jewelleries, such as a brooch, necklace, earrings and so on. The paper roses carry on my dreams and my passion!
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. (Isaiah 43:2)
About 700 B.C, the Israelite prophet Isaiah proclaimed the protection, redemption and unfailing love of the Messiah during the stormy expansion of the Assyrian empire. Thousands years later in this contemporary world, my hope and my faith is also relying on the same source of Love.
“ I will be with you “ is the great promise that sustains my faith and gives me strength to face the difficulties in life; especially as I am a new migrant in New Zealand facing the culture shock and a period of adjustment. The waters and the fire are expressive of all kinds of trouble, uncertainty, temptations, afflictions, distress and problems we may face in our daily life. Nevertheless, by the vibrant love of God, I can be comforted and revived.
What’s more, those life-time experiences are turned to my advantage, to sanctify me, I am taught and instructed through afflictions, like making the gold and silver in the fire, the dross will be consumed, and I will be raised up and brought out by the grace of love.
There is a story behind every painting. I started to paint this painting in Feb. 2010 after I resigned from my architectural career in NDA. However, I had already sketched down the picture roughly in July 2009 when I saw it in my prayers.
In my vision, there is a girl playing a violin on a small boat after stormy weather. The sky appears orange mixed with red colour. The cloud looks like tendril cotton with a gentle wind blowing. The lake has been gently stirred by the wind after the storm; the colourful water reflects the sky’s light sensationally. The beautiful melody from the violin and the water sounds mixed with the wind blowing, the whole scenario presents incredible power and serenity.
In the Bible, Luke 8:22 … Jesus got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.” And they launched out. In the middle of the journey, they encountered a storm, and the disciples were very scared and woke up sleeping Jesus. He was disappointed at his disciples when he woke up because they lost their faith when they encountered the storm.
In my painting, and in this story from the Bible, it speaks the same language that we can’t avoid storms in our life’s journey, however, when we hold onto our faith / fix our eyes on Jesus’ promise, we can over come the storms, and cross over to the other side of the lake. The storm passes, and it helps us grow maturely. It’s like this painting, after the stormy wind with the girl’s violin creating an awesome sonata in the journey of life.
Personally, this painting means God’s promise in my life. When I hold onto the promise, no matter what kind of storms I encounter, I know that He will bring me over to the other side of the lake.
My wife’s spirit is full of colours and she clours my life. Sometimes it’s the childlike scribble of a crayon, other times it’s a stroke of a sensitive soul. God is the colour of her life and always colouring her dreams. (By Marc)