Monday, October 8, 2007

"I will gather you under my wings"

d. Bird gathering creatures under its wings. (Chinese ink and pastels on hand made paper. 1997. Collection of the artist.)

Jesus wept as he declared his fierce longing to gather together the people of the ‘City of God’s Peace’, as a ‘mother-hen gathers her brood under her wings’ (Luke 13:34, cp.19:41-2). Jyoti imagines this bird as the fabulous heavenly Hamsa (usually translated ‘Swan’) of Indian literature - the Hamsa that heals, that brings light and wholeness. In Healing Wings, sixteen healing acts of Jesus (‘acts for human wholeness’) had been reflected on, a verse in the Prophet Malachi (4:2) being the basis for this striking image: ‘The sun of justice shall arise with healing in his wings’. In Indian tradition, too, the Hamsa is at times likened to the sun whose rays heal and give life.

Jyoti imaginatively portrayed Jesus as a Hamsa in these many different healing contexts. The pictures were in the unusual medium of charcoal and crayon, drawn on Chinese paper, and were shown in an Exhibition in the Catholic Hospital and Institute of Missions, Wuerzburg

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