The Abiding Paragon of Eternal Mentorship
SEPTEMBER 01 – DECEMBER 12, 2018
PRIVATE DINNER & RECEPTION FOR THE ARTIST
SEPTEMBER 06, 6 – 9 PM
In Nya’s work, the theme of fatherhood is depicted from a spiritual perspective with the intention of underscoring the amaranthine obligations intrinsically weaved in the duties and roles of a Father.
In this new exhibition entitled “Father: The abiding paragon of eternal Mentorship” currently on view at Seed Gallery, Nya′ visually explicates the core meaning of the word, “Father” by tracing its authentic foundation and root meaning.
In one of the main works in the exhibition, a 60 x 60-inch painting entitled “Virgin Love,” the enveloping and impervious fiery arms, blazing eyes and opulent attire of the abstract figure reflect the incommunicable euphoria of the following lines taken from the verse that accompanies the composition;
In my Father…
I comprehend my identity
I discover my power
I kindle my light
I obtain my freedom
I assume my authority
I unearth my purpose
I receive my favor
I see my vision
I birth my work
I mature my passion
I cremate my fear
I find my legitimacy
I perceive my ideal
I possess my power
I pursue my assignment
I discern the imperishable value of my inestimable inheritance…
After studying Nya’s preparatory notes and sketches for the five pieces in the exhibition suite, as well as analyzing select works in his oeuvre portraying themes related to fatherhood, one thing becomes apparent. The artist’ capitalization of the letter ‘F’ in all his mentioning and reference to the word “Father” in his works to date alludes to Jesus, the Redeemer of Mankind and our Heavenly Father, God.
While every painting in the exhibition alludes to the theme of “Fatherhood” in multifariously subtle ways, it is the main piece “Blueprint of Grace” (74 x 27 inch), which distinguishes and embodies the artist’s revelatory comprehension of a Father.
To really appreciate this ethereal piece composed of river sand and other unorthodox materials and understand why “Fatherhood” is a preeminent theme in the artist’s oeuvre, it is crucial to inventory the story behind the creation of the painting.
Nya’ began to compose the spiritual alphabet for “Blueprint of Grace” when he was about six years old. In his painting notes, Nya’ narrates a parable of how occasionally, before supper in his native land of Zimbabwe, a certain mother would sit her son down in her bedroom and metaphorically pull up letters from an old envelope with stamps from different nations.
Before reading a portion of one of the peculiar letters, the mother, whom Nya’ described in his biography as “the archetype of grace, the epitome of love and the ultimate evidence of gratitude,” would charge her son;
Despite his excitement, Nya’ describes how the young boy secretly wondered in his heart why the handwriting in every letter resembled his mother’s peculiar handwriting.
What the boy also found amazing about these letters, which in essence are the subject of “Blueprint of Grace”, is how each letter seemed relevant to what he was going through and, in most cases, thinking in the secret chambers of his heart. At times, a part of the letter would warn him of imminent danger while another letter would advise him on the path to take, more like orchestrating a divine plan for him to follow.
Aside from alluding to what he was going through, what the boy also found astounding and perhaps encouraged him to remember the contents in each letter was how his father, who had left them (divorced his mother) when he was two years old seemed to know everything about him. In his notes, Nya’ mentions how through the letters, the Father would teach the boy the unsurpassable value of faith, purpose and vision.
The Father would also tell the young boy about their blood covenant which He constantly described as imperishable and unfailing. In fact, the subject of blood was very regular in the letters as the Father explained in great imagery how His perfect blood was in his (the boy′s) DNA hence he was immune to diseases, failure, frustration and the spirit of fear, anger and bitterness that seemed to dominate and control his peers who were also being raised by “single mothers.”
The Father also told the young boy how His fondest will was for him to grow up healthy and become prosperous in everything he focused his mind to accomplish. This is alluded to in “Blueprint of Grace” through the thin lines, representing the virtue of discipline and the spirit of obedience and patience a son can only receive from His Father.
In one of the letters that the mother frequently read, The Father stated that His reason for leaving the boy was so that He could live inside him. Though this was difficult to understand for the young boy, he believed it and would try to express it in his drawings and watercolor sketches. When his friends and teachers asked him where his father was and why they never saw him like other fathers, Nya′ stated how the young boy would always smile and boldly say,
“He is inside me, He left, so that He could be with me and in me all the time.”
Even though this might have sounded strange, to say the least, Nya’ explains why the boy did not care as he was convinced of His Father's permanent residence inside him through his feeling of invincibility and boldness when he needed it but most importantly, the profound letters read to her by his mother. When any external and internal voice would rouse him to doubt, Nya’ expressed how the young boy would pause and ponder; “if His Father was not inside Him, then why did he often feel His presence and how did He seem to know everything about him as evinced in the letters?”
However, when the young boy was about 12 years old, his mother handed him a black worn-out book he immediately recognized. This is the black book with frail pages and with some words written in red and his mother’s scribbled notes in the margins that he saw her read every morning. As she handed him the black leather-covered book, with tears rolling down her cheeks, she said to him;
“son, this book contains all the letters from your Father. Read these letters before you sleep and when you wake up, keep the letters in your heart, and speak only your Father's words, especially when you are afraid and don’t know what to do, for in your Father's Word lies all the answers to life.”
In narrating this story in his biography, Nya’ concludes by saying;
“It was only when I became a man, that I fully comprehended that all these years, my mother was helping me to nurture an intimate relationship with my Lord and Savior, my King, my Mentor and abiding Father - Jesus Christ.”
Defined by its strict graphic regularity, a severe formal restraint and an impalpable sublimity, “Blueprint of Grace” uses the artist’s ingenious and ineffably laborious method of singly indenting letters on prepared canvas using wires, needles and thread and occasionally plenteous amounts of delicately mixed pastes. The graphic clarity of Nya’s rhythmical marks, accentuated by a combination of symmetric gestures and an inconspicuous palette establishes a fluid lyrical elegance and a painterly language that solely expresses the transcendental and anomalous elements.
Comprised of beige and cream colors that graduate into pure whites and vivacious shades of gold, the painting is a semi chromatic composition whose sublime palette connotes the ethereal mirth, immeasurable peace and abiding love that envelopes one’s consummate being in the presence of “The Father.”
The use of droplets of lamb’s blood mixed with deep crimson hues to partially blanket the raised words on the foreground of the picture plane alludes to the sacrificial love of an Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient Father who had already designed a plan to bring His beloved children back into His rich inheritance long before they transgressed. The Father, whose forgiving nature and supreme deity, as portrayed by the snow-white and variant shades of gold is a paragon of immortal, immutable and inexplicable purity.
In the three remaining pieces in the exhibition, Nya′ primarily depicts the theme of fatherhood by focusing on the purpose of a father, alluding his functions to that of a “truly anointed leader who sets the vision, provide the requisite resources, inspires potential and diurnally assess progress in line with clearly delineated objectives.” He then mirrors the mortal image of an earthly father to that of our heavenly Father, thereby asserting that a physical father’s ability to know his purpose and perform his functions is inherently dependent on his personal relationship with his Father in Heaven.
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