The title I chose is ‘God’s good earth?’ because I feel sad about the damage that is being done to the world.
My art shows all the beauty of nature and all the things God created on the left-hand side, from the Seven Natural Wonders of the World to trees, plants, birds, fish, and insects. Down the middle of my picture you can see a crack like an earthquake dividing the image into two sides. On the right hand-side I have tried to show all the damage that is being done to the world by humans, including images of overpopulation, pollution (air and plastic), burning fossil fuels and deforestation.
I put together a collage of printed images on each side and around this, I stuck items from nature on the left and on the right, I have added items that are bad for the environment – plastic bags, bottles, lids and cans. I have tried to use light, bright colours on the left which gradually darken into black to the right to represent the badness of human actions.
I decided to add actual items to give the art texture and to remind us there are many different ways of how we are damaging the environment and how there are many sides to God’s beautiful earth.
If you look carefully at my creation, you will see that I put it on a background of fresh new grass to photograph it as I felt this fitted well with the theme of God’s good earth. In creating the title of my entry, I used shells for the letters to spell ‘God’s good earth’ as these are also a thing of natural beauty.
My inspiration for this topic came as a result of lockdown. Lockdown had very positive effects on the environment as there has been less industry, less travel and more people staying at home so the world has had some time to recover. During lockdown, I’ve also spent more time in the garden and outside in the countryside enjoying nature and appreciating its beauty. I picked the flowers and foliage from my garden and on one of my bike ride routes.
‘The earth dries up and withers, the world languishes and withers, the heavens languish with the earth. The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant.’ (Isaiah 24:4-5)
When I was on a walk, I took a picture of a dandelion in seed, and it made me think. When we hold a dandelion, we have control over how we use it. When we choose to blow on it, we are directing its actions and have power over it.
I have thought of this as a metaphor, the dandelion representing earth, and us, the humans on it. The person blowing the dandelion can be seen as God, with control over what happens to the dandelion due to the Christian belief that God is omnipotent. Omnipotence means all powerful, which reflects God in this metaphor because he is dominant over the ‘people’ of the dandelion.
However, some people may argue against this metaphor. This is because Christians believe that God gave all humans free will. Free will means that all humans have freedom to make their own decisions, and learn through the consequences. This might be a reason to disagree with my dandelion metaphor because God's control over the actions of the people may suggest that he is not giving them a chance to make their own decisions or have free will. This leads to the question ‘can God be both omnipotent and give humans free will?’
I thought about this argument and realised that when a dandelion is blown, the florets that come off all go in their own direction, not organised. They follow the wind and take their own path. This could reflect that omnipotence and free will balance out and work together. It shows that God has power to control actions, yet still humans are provided free will and can ultimately take their own path, which has been guided by God.