I grew up knowing that women had a place in the world that was less:  less smart, less brave, less strong, less relevant.  The patriarchal society reinforced this view for our society, politics, and education.  It was only when I went to a Catholic High School, run by a feisty order of Dominican nuns, that I realised that I was more and had endless capacity to be more than more.  The nuns pushed us outside of the societal, political and education bounds and asked us to look inside ourselves and answer a question:  What else?  

 

This notion of finding the next “What else?” has been one of my driving forces in my life.  What else can I do?  What else can I learn?  What else can I contribute to?  What else can I be doing to make this world a better place?  And when in 1998 I first learned about The Saint John’s bible, I found my next “What else?”

 

The question then became: what to do.  Here was an art project of monumental worth and importance to 21st century people, wrapped up as a bible and a statement on our world.  Over the years I continued my studies and submersion into the illuminations and philosophy of The Saint John’s bible, letting it infuse my DNA and artistry.

 

Which brings me to today – one month after we opened an exhibition of original pages of the bible at The Museum at the Hjemkomst (HCSCC).  More years of planning than I can really remember but working with a team of volunteers who answered the call to be more and finding what else they could do.  It has been a whirlwind experience.  The winds of change and uncertainty have given me sleepless nights and exhilarating encounters.  I have seen the profound effects of art on people and how story telling and painted pictures alter world views and closely held principles.  

 

And I have seen women see themselves in the illuminations:  strong, brace, caring, smart, respected, powerful.  So pull up a chair, grab a cup of tea and your handcraft, and listen for 15 minutes to more of my thinking on women in The Saint John’s Bible and why this matters to everyone.  The interview starts at the 27:13 mark.  Thank you to Ashley Thornberg at Prairie Public radio for this interview on October 30th.  The direct url is:  http://www.prairiepublic.org/radio/mainstreet?post=71573 so then you do not have to hunt for the interview in the archives.

Main Street

Here is the link to the Facebook posting