Don Binney Tribute 3/7 (Wellington Jewish Dove)

In 1976 Binney produced his masterpiece Old Wellington Synagogue, returning to a spiritual theme.  In this painting a white spiritus sanctus soars elegantly above a symmetrical Jewish synagogue bisected with a series of lines and angles evoking Wellington suburban concrete retaining walls.  The painting is carefully composed in three vertical bands similar to Kauri Triptych, Te Henga, 1969: 1) tabernacle below, grounded with man; 2) dove above, with God in the heavens; 3) a center band with a cluster of simplified Wellington hillside buildings.  Binney is drawing together the nature/divine vs human/religious themes of his earlier ‘sanctuary’ paintings with the addition of suburban habitation dividing the two. 

We view in this work the emergence of his environmental politics fed by the Waitakere developments.  It is Binney’s appeal to a civil discourse as a player in nature between God and spiritual man -environmentalism gets a social conscience.  The buildings exhibit Binney’s characteristic simplification: flat plains and lines of colour.  In direct contrast the wisps of bush, rolled back by suburban sprawl, are lush and textured and the dove is toned to convey a plump healthy body of life and health.  The beak and face are carefully denoted against the flat weak blue sky.  The painting is rich in parochial identification, but fused with Binney sentiment, faith and politics.



About coNZervative

A blog about politics, life, culture, literature, music and thought from Christchurch, New Zealand [NZ] (the home of 10,000 earthquakes since 4 Sept. 2010) built because of the bullying and cajoling of Liberal opinion-makers (journalism and Hollywood) against conservative-minded people who are as entitled to opinion and a perspective as anyone; and because Conservativism has served the world well. John Stringer is a New Zealander (Christchurch) in his 50s married to an American from Taco Bell; they have 5 adult children in 3 diff. countries. John is an ex-Anglican pastor, a teacher, published author (NZ), novelist (USA) and cartoonist (Aust, NZ), and has spent the last 25 years in NZ politics with the National party (he was a parliamentary candidate in 1999). There was a stint in London working for the British Conservative party as well, where he did media minding and campaign work with several Brit cabinet ministers, including Baroness Thatcher, Baroness Blatch, Michael Howard, Tom King, among others. He has an MA (classical studies, Victoria); is a graduate of the New York Film Academy; and has various awards for writing. His passions include British bulldogs, fly fishing, and history (Ancient and WWII). Winston Churchill was mainly a “Conservative” but also a “Liberal” MP between 1900-1964. A Member of Parliament for 64 years, he contested 21 parliamentary elections (for Oldham, Manchester North West, Dundee, and Epping/Woodford). Throughout his career Churchill stood for liberty. He believed in open debate and freedom of speech, and opposed any system or ideology that tried to dictate the way one should think. Churchill felt deeply that disagreements within the democratic system should not degenerate into personal animosities. RIDER: This site is not connected to nzconservative, a Catholic site, or NZ Conservative Party, although from time-to-time I share some of the views espoused by both groups and other sites I follow, as published; I am an independent thinker and blogger.
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