How amazing is this Indigenous art?! "Saviour of the world" is a commissioned piece from friends and Indigenous artists Dr. Ngardarb & Tony Riches.
Dr. Ngardarb Francine Riches is a Bardi/Jawi and Karajarri woman from the West Kimberley region of Western Australia. She is a well-known artist and sculptor. Her husband, Ps. Tony Riches is also an artist and works on public art projects with her.
The inspiration came from a desire to share the gospel through my Ironman Triathlon in June (https://maf-fundraising-hub.raisely.com/jeremy-dover) . The distinctive seat tube looks like a “scar tree” and a perfect platform for the crucifixion story of reconciliation.
The artwork shares the ancient story of reconciliation through Jesus in traditional Indigenous art.
The Artist’s annotations are below:
The Saviour of the world – Isaiah Chapter 53
- Christ on the cross - the great sacrifice for the sin of the world. Romans Chapter 5, verse 8, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
- He was nailed to the tree - 1 Peter Chapter 2, verse 24, “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness…”
- He paid for the judgement we deserve - Romans Chapter 5, verse 18, “Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.”
- He carried our curse - Galatians Chapter 3, verse 13, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us…”
- He wore the crown made of thorns. These thorns were His creation and a symbol of the curse - Matthew Chapter 27, verse 29, “When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’”
- Leaves symbolise a wreath, representing His victory, are painted above His head - Hebrews Chapter 2, verse 9, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honour, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.”
- Through His death He brought peace between people once enemies of God and one another - Romans Chapter 5, verse 10, “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”
- The clusters of dots represent each of the people groups of the world; especially in Australia - Acts Chapter 17, verse 26, “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,”
- The rays emanating from the cross represent:
- White – LIGHT - John Chapter 8, verse 12, “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.’”
- Blue – WATER of Life - John Chapter 4, verse 14, “but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
- Red – His CLEANSING BLOOD - 1 John Chapter 1, verse 7, “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
- The Rays go both to and through the people representing the GOSPEL - Revelation Chapter 5, verse 9, “For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation”
- The boomerangs are in the style of the artists Bardi People – Ngardarb Riches - They remind us - Isaiah Chapter 55, verse 7, “Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.”
- We must have Faith to be ready for Eternity - Hebrews Chapter 9, verse 27, “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment”
- He is alive and offers the gift of Eternal Life which He paid for – John Chapter 3, verse 36, “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
This Indigenous artwork is an example of the way art can point to Scripture and tell the gospel story. It is a credit to the faith of the artists whose faith and hope is reflected in this piece. The artwork was printed onto a sticker and fitted by Metro Signs and will be a great vehicle to share this story of reconciliation with athletes and spectators at the Cairns Ironman.
Ps. Tony Riches’ Church https://melbindigenouschurch.wordpress.com/
To learn more about my Ironman Triathlon project supporting Mission Aviation Fellowship https://maf-fundraising-hub.raisely.com/jeremy-dover
Jeremy Dover is a former sports scientist and Pastor
Jeremy Dover's previous articles may be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/jeremy-dover1.html