Sunday, December 23, 2012

Were Ya Born in a Barn?



At the 10:30 service tomorrow, on Christmas Eve I will reflect on the notion of a Canadian Christmas. I will be using the verses of No Crowded Eastern Street, a lovely Canadian carol no one knows, and the nativity paintings of William Kurelek. Kurelek was something of a folk artist, but his images convey a devotional depth rooted in his Roman Catholic faith. He depicts Jesus as the Christ Child born in a barn in several paintings, but he also moves to the seaside where it is fisher folk who come in adoration rather than shepherds and magi.



They make me think outside the conventions of my images of the season, as does the carol.

Do you know Kurelek's work? Does it speak to you? Do you need to be nudged out of the conventional scenes of the season?

7 comments:

Laurie said...

I am sorry I have to miss the Christmas Eve service. I really like Kurelek's work. I have seen a lot in galleries and have a number of his books. I like the short stories and pictures in "Northern Nativity" I like the way he sometimes continues the picture right onto the frame. His pictures are so Canadian!

IanD said...

Those are quite interesting, and they manage to capture the things I associate with Christmas Eve while plopping them in a modern context.

On a side note, I grew up with a few people that were born in barns. They're doing just fine now ... overcame the circumstances, etc.

Nancy said...

I did not know of Kurelek's work, however I like what I see, as Laurie says, very Canadian! The first image makes me think of an image I have of "A Huron Carol" and the Canadian images that are depicted in that carol. The second image is one I have not thought of, but why not? Such a vast country and so many images that could be portrayed. Thank you for nudging me to think "outside of the box".

janet.rice said...

I am a great fan of Kurelek. Some time ago one Sunday morning I discovered a Kurelek painting on the cover of our morning bulletin. A gifted Canadian artist.

Laurie said...

Are you going to post your Christmas message? I can't be there Christmas Eve and would really like to hear/see the message.

RoseE said...

My ethnic background is Ukrainian and I'm familiar with and love the work of William Kurelek (1927 to 1957). Images of his work are often on my desktop and, in fact, Northern Nativity has been on my computer desktop for the past several days!

David Mundy said...

Thanks everyone. I hope I see many of you on Christmas Eve!