This painting is very special to me, for it was created during the months of COVID-19 lockdown. During April and May of 2020 I was thinking a lot about Noah and the story of the great flood, for Noah and his family were also forced into "lockdown" – being confined to the ark in an attempt to fight the storm that took over the world.
In my spin on the story... I imagine Noah to be a sort of Da Vinci figure, who had great insight into biology, zoology, chemistry, architecture, and art – abilities he used to cultivate a living in harsh conditions, to take care of animals and also to design and build a sophisticated structure like the ark. Noah was not only asked to be a protector of all living animals during the flood, but also to be a custodian of colour for the new earth — to "keep the colours alive".
Before the rushing rains came crashing down, Noah took samples of various pigments from the earth and preserved them in small leather-type pouches in a secret drawer on the ark. During the evenings, when the animals and birds were all asleep, and the ark moved gently to the rhythm of the ocean, Noah used these pigments to paint various geometric kaleidoscopes in remembrance of the colours of the original creation. And this painting is one of them! After the flood, in my version of the story, God used these paintings by Noah to create the rainbow and restore the colours of the new earth.
Noah’s Kaleidoscope is now owned by Dr. Chris van den Berg, a psychiatrist in Stellenbosch who shares my passion for art, music and theology. It is such a privilege and joy for me to know that the story of Noah’s Kaleidoscope lives on in the beautiful home of Dr. Van den Berg and his family. (The picture here is not of their home though :)
Noah's Kaleidoscope | Acrylic on canvas | 1000 x 1000 mm