Every Christmas we like to produce an art installation that begins to open up the traditional nativity story. This year it is called Waiting for an angel. more pictures to follow but here is a bit of a description for now.
If you want to come and have a peek we will be open Saturday 14th 10 am-3pm and on Sunday 3pm -5pm.
Here at immerse we are fascinated with equivalence. We don’t take ancient narratives and force them into our post-modern context but we do hope to explore what their equivalence would be today. As we thought about the odd couple – the (probably) older man and the (probably) younger woman, we began to wonder where we might locate their story today. Would it be in a shed? A hospital? A squat?
It seems this couple lived far from the town where they grew up; when they did come home because of government decree they were not welcome. Ties had been broken; a taboo, an embarrassment in the family as dysfunctional as most families today! Anyone who has worked with and spoken to homeless people often hear of a fractured home life and torn relationships. Perhaps the equivalence is homelessness?
If you google ‘homeless pregnancies and births’ we are sure, like us, that you will be horrified at the number of stories on-line. How is it that in the 21st Century it is still possible for women to be in such danger at such a vulnerable time? Why are we satisfied that this happens in our world, in our streets? It is a scandal that is often never uncovered because women and pregnancy falls outside of the dominant culture of war, greed and selfishness. To give birth is an ultimate act of self-giving, of complete otherness where one becomes two.
More horrifying are the number of stories of homeless women who give birth and are diagnosed with a variety of mental health illnesses. Not only are these women at their most vulnerable, they are set within a category that is stigmatised by the masses. Homeless – Pregnant – with Mental Health. And as a society we feel the best place for them to be is on the street?
Imagine a woman tells you she was visited in the night by a heavenly being and it made her pregnant? What would our conclusions be? This mad, pregnant woman who can’t stay at home because of the government but is not welcome back with the family because of disagreement gives birth here, in the street. Perhaps someone will hear of her child? Take pity on them? If not then the future does not hold much hope for this poor family. If the child can only make it to adulthood he might stand a chance; but for him to get that far will depend on the strength and determination of his mother. Perhaps, if this child can live long enough to become a man – he might help her discover liberation so that she is restored to the fullness she deserves. But not yet, for now she is his only chance. And if all her mad mumblings are true – this child might be one to watch out for.
But for now …
We hope she finds an Angel