the paper and see the Powerpoint presentation by following these links).
One of the artists I refer to is the sculptor Edward Robinson, whose work includes a series of carved triptychs. He uses the triptychs to explore themes of concealment and revelation, and to encourage us to reflect on those inner worlds which resist scrutiny and are meant to remain hidden, revealing their mysteries only occasionally to the contemplative gaze. He prefers his triptychs to remain closed most of the time, to remind those who see them of the mystery of God hidden within the world.
I took time out yesterday morning from an intense week of writing the paper and preparing for the start of the new academic year. It was a glorious day - with that early autumnal warmth and soft blue sky which rest like a benediction on the passing of summer. I went up to the allotment to pick the garlands of beans which have appeared in the last few weeks, and I decided to sit up there and shell them in the sunshine. As I worked, I reflected on Robinson's triptychs, and it occurred to me that these beautiful beans communicated the same kind of message. It was the toughest, most unattractive pods which contained a wondrous assortment of colours, gleaming in the sunshine and telling of the unseen beauty hidden within the most ordinary of appearances. What evolutionary grace deemed that these beans should develop in this way? For whose gaze were they intended, hidden away from the eyes of insects and birds? Is it possible that these were made only for God's delight and ours, nature's triptychs opening up to those who have eyes to see?
What a pity that their colours disappear when they're cooked, and yesterday's miracle is tomorrow's meal. But I hope you enjoy sharing them in all their ephemeral glory.