I walked into the Dowse Gallery in Upper Hutt, and was unprepared for the impact of an installation work by Liu Jianhua. She is a Chinese artist showing a new work (never before shown outside of China) of glistening pools of gold-coated porcelain.
The room was about 12m square, with black walls and ceiling, and some lights shining down on the pools of gold coated porcelain on the floor. I was compelled to push ‘pause’ straight away, as I felt I was in the presence of something powerfully beautiful. I just wanted to prioritise the place of beauty in my life, and let itseep into my soul.
My daughter took her shoes off to help her mull and reflect, as she wanted to eliminate any sound that would prevent the fluidity of moving quietly in the space.
A group of school children passed through, and it was lovely to see their wows and admiration and photo taking, although none of them paused to experience it. I felt they were only taking in the 3D effect and were unaware of its impact.
When they left the silence was even greater –
– until I was suddenly back to reality, realising that my car had outlasted its parking meter time!
And now 5 days later, I still feel it left me a better person, and that we can never underestimate the power of ‘pause’ and ‘beauty’ to write peace on our souls, and sense God’s Presence.