Just Checking by Daniella Woolf
We are in the season called Common Time (or Ordinary Time). As Dale Brown points out in his article, the assumption might be that "common" or "ordinary" are a reference to reverting back to our normal day-to-day lives. But this notion encourages emotional and spiritual highs and lows to be reserved for the other seasons of the liturgical calendar. It assumes a hierarchy of not only the way we approach worship, but also in our own lives.
In other words, the assumption can creep in:
Well, since it's Common Time - I'll just sit back and relax. I'm good to go - at least until Advent.
That idea hardly sounds like the Jesus we encounter in the New Testament: the Jesus who redeems the everyday, raw and "ordinary" into something of meaning, something extra-ordinary.
This redemptive idea - of taking what may be considered commonplace, and re-purposing it - is one we can (and should!) mimic in our own art-making. It is a way that we can show solidarity with Christ's ministry, while setting the stage for the Holy Spirit to move through our art.
Take for example the textile artist Daniella Woolf. Her large installation (pictured above) is comprised of her mother's old checks. With her mother's death still fresh in her mind, she took her mom's old checks (and some of her own) and re-purposed them for art. When she speaks of her inspiration for this particular piece, she talks about themes of identity (life, death, financial roles, theft, etc), and references her love of fabrics and quilts. She has taken the ordinary and done something extra-ordinary, and in doing so paid homage to her mother.
I wonder during this season, what things we can see in a new light; what things we can re-purpose and redeem in our art-making? And in so doing, allow the Spirit to transform our ordinary lives into purposeful, out-of-the-ordinary ones.