Recently I have been working hard to complete a series of drawings on paper which I began in July 2019 which are all based on the idea of ‘seeds’. (why the delay in working on them? Well a trip to South Africa leading to a new series of drawings plus an exhibition opportunity, kind of got in the way!).
Seeds first caught my imagination when I was doing research on Jesus’ Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13 vs 1-9), and also his parable of the Mustard Seed (Matthew 13 vs 31-32 and Matthew 17 vs 20). The seed is a powerful metaphor and would have been more so in the ancient world (compared to a contemporary Western lifestyle) where survival was dependant on seeds growing successfully. In Israel at the time of Jesus the mustard seed was one of the smallest seeds, but it grew into one of the largest domestic trees. The thought that such a tiny seed holds the blueprint for a big tree with branches fascinates me. However, a seed growing successfully and fully is dependant on other factors: The right conditions and good soil free from rocks and weeds, plus regular watering, allow the seed to fulfill its potential and this leads to filled tummys, security, shelter and regeneration, not to mention repollination and new crops.
When Jesus talks about a seed it could be a metaphor for a person, or the Kingdom of Heaven, or faith, but in each case he is referring to something, a germ, which starts off as small and vulnerable, and yet it has all the genetic ingredients for enormous potential. I have tried to capture that in my drawings. Whilst the visual ideas in my seed drawings are quite ‘unformed’, they begin to hint at imaginative structures and landscapes and all that a ‘good fully-grown seed’ can contribute to. Furthermore I have very often considered all my body of drawings on paper as ‘seed ideas’. All of them are important to me, and often lead to new ideas and improved skills, but some of the ideas which they contain are nurtured and watered and become larger works. I believe that it is important to record ‘seed ideas’ quickly, even if only in a very small way. I know that when I have neglected to draw or write down the ideas that have come to me, they have been blown away by the winds of time.
If you would like to see more of my seed drawings I have posted them all here: https://www.instagram.com/walterhayn/