I recently made a ‘Peek-Box’ diorama exploring my thoughts about ‘street evangelists’. The container for the ‘Peek Box’ diorama is a simple shoebox with an extended hole at one end to peek through to see the scene inside, ( partial view above). The lid of the box is cut open and coloured gels are attached to let in light – then the lid is glued shut. ‘Mickey’, the street evangelist, is a found toy – his unwilling audience I made from clay and painted – the alley scene is mixed media.
I work, as a volunteer, in an art studio with members who have various conditions of mental instability and / or homelessness.
I hear about and have experienced the self-righteous and tedious sermonizing of the ‘street evangelist’ who is dedicated to converting others to his or her religious belief, concentrating especially on the addicted, disenfranchised, marginalized and homeless people of the street.
While I am sure that many who follow this calling are humane, good-hearted people I also know that there are those with religious tunnel vision who deliver moralizing homilies in a Disneyfied cloud of make-believe and blind faith.
The answer is ultimately secular and requires recognition by society and the state that the marginalized population are where they are because we have ignored the roots of their condition.
The glittering facade of our cities will always be tainted by the rusted underbelly of poverty and how this deprives too many of our citizens of the basic standard of living that we more lucky ones expect.
To use the vernacular, I see the message of the street evangelist as essentially ‘Micky Mouse’, which explains the imagery used.
Peek Box Diorama by clinock