Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Awhile ago now my friend Nick Thorpe bought me a little book of prayers aptly titled 'A Common Prayer: A cartoonist talks to God'. It has been a good companion on what has been at times a painful journey...Michael Leunig struggled with the idea of creating just another humor strip. He recognized the need to offset the anxiety and distress found in the news but was determined to take a decidedly different approach from his cartooning peers.
The result was a cartoon that delivered a spiritual message with its inspirational words and straightforward, poignant drawings. Before long, it developed a huge, faithful following and turned Leunig into an Australian national treasure.
I came across 'Here is the News' this morning and after seeing the Panorama documentary 'Faith, hate and charity', where
Panorama investigates how funds from one of Britain's leading Islamic charities have helped build support for Hamas, which is regarded by Europe and America as a terrorist organisation (though that is only one side of the argument!!), I thought it a rather sobering piece of art...
...it's why I believe art is the most wonderful gift that allows a brush with the divine - that place where we do just a little more than barely lean in - it confronts us with the uncomfortable and we are never the same again.