Trees and herbs. : Plant life of our world
The centre of this piece depicts the blazing sun which shines at the heart of our solar system. The glory explodes from the centre into an eight pointed star. The light of its rays penetrate the whole of creation and into the ultramarine of the heaven which surrounds the piece. Here the gilded letters proclaim “The light of the Divine shines through the whole of creation.
The rays of the star divide the plant world up into sections. Herbs with their healing properties are portrayed close to the central circle.
St Hildegard of Bingen was a 12th century Holy Woman. She was a contemplative and a mystic and wrote extensively on medicine and the use of herbs as healing agents. She was a great advocate of veriditas or greening as a cure for all ills and for the creation of physical health. She was a prolific painter and illustrated her written treatises with wonderful paintings of her visions such as the Cosmic Egg in which she portrays the universe as an egg, giving birth to the whole of creation. The interconnectedness of all being was important to her and as such makes her a thoroughly modern champion of the environmental movement.
Beyond the herbs the trees are illustrated. The trees which we now know are the lungs of our planet. The presence of the rain and temperate forest canopies we now know is essential for the atmospheric health of our planet and so for all life residing upon it.
In the centre of piece a huge tree stands silent, tall, embracing, its leaves and branches surrounded by the blazing gold of the sun.
The Grace of Glory and the Glory of Grace is a mirror image phrase, as above so below.
Fire in water, the sun’s brilliant reflection upon the sea; Fire in earth, the brilliance of the crystals blazing in the crystal rock headlands; Water, fire, air and earth nurturing the fields and flowers of the abundant pasture surrounding the central tree of life. It is all there for everyone to see if we have the eyes of our hearts open to the divine glory that surrounds us at all times, speaking into our open hearts of faith.
Love is the connecting force of the whole universe. Love unites us and links us to our physical surroundings as we love and nurture the world which gives us life.