Art in Focus – June 2021
Adam Meets the Animals
Detail from the Tapestry of the Creation
(11th – 12th century), Girona Cathedral, Italy
Adam is looking in wonder at the variety of creatures surrounding him. And well he might. He seems to be encountering a unicorn! This is a detail from the splendid Creation Tapestry, more accurately a couched needlework panel, which has hung in Girona’s cathedral since the 11th or 12th century. It is a reminder that respect for and joy in creation are built into the very earliest stories in the Hebrew scriptures. The first chapter of Genesis says: ‘And God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over … every living thing that moves upon the earth.”’
Typically, our human species has taken the words ‘subdue’ and ‘dominion’ as permission to exploit the flora and fauna of our planet and plunder the earth for its treasures. In a year when the UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, let’s take Adam’s obvious delight in the creatures around him as encouragement to do whatever we can to protect and nurture our amazing world.
Art in focus is curated by Meryl Doney
This article was published in the June 2021 edition of Reform