Quality is the first norm for art, but its final norm is love and truth, the enriching of human life, the deepening of our vision.


Eljee Bergwerff: A Blue Sky

Eljee Bergwerff: A Blue Sky
With Arms Outstretched
by Eljee Bergwerff
I am in Haiti. The earthquake took place half a year ago. The church in the photo above has partly collapsed, as you can see on the right. Still Jesus hangs undamaged and unbeaten on the cross. Next to the ruins a blue sailcloth has been suspended. Beneath it a few dozen people are holding a religious service. It touches me that the woman with arms outstretched keeps on praising Jesus, while it is likely that she lost some of her loved ones in the very earthquake that destroyed much of this church.
During my travels I ask people what Jesus means to them. I want to learn from them. Wide smiles appear on their faces. ‘He is my friend, my father,’ they tell me. ‘We praise God that we are still alive. In the morning we don’t know what we will eat in the evening, but that strengthens our bond with God. We start to trust him even more.’
The joy I see in the eyes of these people I can´t explain. I am sure it is not fake. It is made tangible here how Jesus keeps on caring for us in even the most difficult circumstances. Nothing is too burdensome for him.
Eljee Bergwerff (b. 1975) is married and has four children. With another couple they live in the De IJsselhoeve, a house where children with mental disabilities can come to stay in order to give their parents and brothers and sisters some rest. His first photos, when he was fifteen, were of his motorcycle and parakeet. A few rolls of film later he started to earn money when he started to sell his photos to newspapers. After studying photography he has travelled abroad widely covering photographically subjects assigned to him. More recently his work has focused on subjects personally selected. He is a member of an evangelical congregation.
A Blue Sky, digital photo, June 2010.
This photo and text have been pubished in the book De crux, christenen over de kern van hun geloof, Cees Dekker & Reinier Sonneveld (ed.), Buijten & Schipperheijn Motief, 2010. In this book Christian authors and visual artists tell in word and image about the crux of their faith in Jesus. Because of the involvement of so many Christian artists, this book is the first book of its kind in the Dutch language. 
Artway Visual Meditation November 21, 2010