Tag Archives: Desert

The Tower and the Desert

Art Show Tonight

Art Show Tonight

There is a desert, and in the midst of that desolation stand ambitious men.

Long ago, Nimrod – a mighty warrior and king of the desert – desired a place as a god. He said to his people, “Come, let us make a name for ourselves, and let us build a tower with its top in the heavens lest we be dispersed and forgotten.” So they began construction on a spire that would prick the heavens.

Then the LORD descended in radiant theophany and twisted their tongues in His displeasure. Men who had once been allies were torn apart by the confusion of their languages and dispersed throughout the wasteland. Thus the place was called Babel, and its ruins still lie on the plains of Shinar, populated only by the owls and hyenas.

Nimrod’s nation was scattered, but his vision lingered on, gnawing at the imaginations of generation after generation. Constantly his children roam, splintering according to language and culture, coalescing, and then fracturing again. They build ceaselessly but leave behind only a trail of crumbling monoliths beneath the cold light of the moon.

After a time, the LORD sent his Son to pave the Way through the desert to the holy city of Zion. He adopted countless descendants of Nimrod and gave them a mighty gift. The very Spirit that had first confused language would now give men one voice and the Word to speak.

Nimrod’s offspring still apply all of their might to building towers of steel and glass. But the children of the Lord live in the sand, making their slow pilgrimage along the Way and singing of Zion. Their chorus is the unified voice of the faithful proclaiming:

No eye has seen and no mind has conceived the full glory of Zion, but in everything are signs and signifiers.

I wrote the above narrative in place of an artist’s statement for the body of work on display tonight. You can find images of the artwork on my website.

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Vignettes from the Desert

Vignettes from the Desert. Five 5"x11" drawings. Ink on watercolor paper

“Vignettes from the Desert” Five 11″x5″ drawings. Ink on watercolor paper

Visual experiments with the idea of the desert.

Be sure to check out my website: http://www.jacobrowanstudios.com I’ve uploaded lots of new work and reorganized my portfolios.

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Vignettes from the Desert

Vignettes from the Desert. Ink on Watercolor Paper

Vignettes from the Desert. 5″x11″ Ink on Watercolor Paper

I’ve posted all of these drawings individually before, but here is the complete grid. These drawings represent my experiments with new textures, designs, and the imagery of the desert.

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New Drawing: Study of the Desert

Study of the Desert. Ink on watercolor paper.

Study of the Desert. Ink on watercolor paper.

A drawing study to continue exploring the imagery of the desert and the Tower of Babel.

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More Vignettes from the Desert

Ink and Graphite on Watercolor Paper

Ink and Graphite on Watercolor Paper

Ink on Watercolor Paper

Ink on Watercolor Paper

Ink on Watercolor Paper

Ink on Watercolor Paper

Ink on Watercolor Paper

Ink on Watercolor Paper

More 5″x11″ experimental studies exploring imagery from the Tower of Babel and Choruses from the “Rock.” See my earlier post for more details.

 

Click on image for a larger view. All images copyright Jacob Rowan 2014

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Vignettes from the Desert

Ink on Watercolor Paper

Ink on Watercolor Paper

Ink on Watercolor Paper

Ink on Watercolor Paper

For some time I have been working on a collaboration with a composer to illuminate the Tower of Babel and T.S. Eliot’s Choruses from the “Rock” through art and music. One is the story of man building a city and tower for his own glory and the other is a story of man’s struggle to build the church of God. In my reading and contemplation of these two texts I have become fixated with the image of the desert. The desert left after God dispersed the people of Babel is the same desert we live in today in which some are trying to rebuild Babel and in which others are trying to build the church. As Eliot says “The desert is in the heart of your brother.” These are 5″x11″ experimental studies I have been doing to explore that imagery.

Click on image for a larger view. All images copyright Jacob Rowan 2014

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Filed under Art, Drawing, Illumination, Jacob Rowan Studios, Literature