Monday, November 6, 2017

Our Mob, God's Story

Our Mob, God’s Story, Sherman and Mattingley

This wonderful art collection book was produced by the Bible Society to commemorate 200 years of work in Australia.

I should say upfront that I am not a connoisseur of fine art. We do not buy art, and I have struggled to appreciate much art except the older fashioned Renaissance style, especially those with biblical themes. I loved Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel and like the various works of Monet, Hans Heysen and others, but my knowledge and therefore understanding of the skill involved is very limited.

Combined with that is the increasing realization that I have almost no knowledge of Aboriginal culture and tradition. Part of that could be attributed to a childhood spent mostly overseas, and an Australian education system that didn’t include such things until after I left. Having been raised in a part of the country that included almost no Indigenous people, my exposure to Indigenous people and culture is very limited.

That all goes to show that in coming to this book I was a complete and utter ignoramus.

From page one I was entranced. There was an explanation of a worthy cause – the gathering of a vast variety of Indigenous artworks that reflected stories of personal faith and understanding of the Scriptures. In using the artworks of different Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, each artist with their own unique style; the truths of the gospel have been clearly, colourfully and winsomely explained.

Each double page spread contains the artwork, an explanation of the work, and some information about the artist and the area they are from, and a bible verse relevant to the art. With a helpful explanation at the beginning of what some symbols used in the works represent, suddenly there is a key to see the meaning – you can see the Trinity,  men and women bowing down, the Holy Spirit, people travelling to God and away from him on narrow and wide paths.

It covers the chronology of the bible, starting with creation and through the Old Testament.

Seven Days of Creation, Safina Stewart (sourced from:

Noah's Flood, Kristy Naden (sourced from:
This was one of my personal favourites
How that double page spread looks

Most of the art is based in the New Testament, particularly the gospels.

Bright Star, Grace Kumbi (sourced from:

I read a few pages a day as part of my own personal devotion and each time I came away refreshed by the art, the bible verses and the explanations. There is a wide variety of art, many contains elements of dot painting (like the ones I have included here), but others have very different styles.

This book is a treasure. I first found it at our local library (which in itself was amazing), but quickly realised we wanted to own a copy. Not only for our own encouragement and edification, but also because the proceeds go to publishing of Aboriginal Scriptures.

If you already appreciate art and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, make sure you get this book. If you are more like me and own no books of art at all, make this one the exception - get a copy. You will be so encouraged by the faith displayed by our Indigenous brothers and sisters.

So Loved, Glendora (Glenny) Naden (sourced from

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