CHRISTMAS at St. Peter’s Painting: painted during the Christmas Carol service Dec. 2018 Neil Crouch
The Nativity is, of course, not just the story of a special child born in a cradle, but a truly Cosmic event. My idea was that Advent is the coming of Light into the world, so I began with a completely black canvas – “The earth was formless and void” says Genesis and the Word was present at the beginning (John 1). I pre-painted in the King David window and the small nativity scene within the walls of St. Peter’s, then covered that portion with a black mask. I had an image in my head which was like the gathering of a great sky full of energy which bursts forth in a Heaven-to-Earth connection like a lightning strike. Somehow, the Wise Men, astrologers from the east, without benefit of the internet, could “see” this connection and responded to it. We don’t seem to be attuned to great buildups such as this, but it is essentially like the prophecies of the Old Testament of which we suddenly become aware as we experience the release of The Word on earth. The colours and the flow of design are simply me at work picturing the choirs of angelic voices heard throughout the universe and represented by our own St. Peter’s angelic voices which surrounded me as I painted.