Dec 20, 2018
Listen in on our conversation with Harold Sikkema, an artist and educator in Toronto, Canada. His roots in a Calvinist setting have shaped but not defined his path. Born to Dutch parents (on a mission project in Papua) he grew up in a rural Ontario bubble where the Bible was inerrant, evolution was a lie, and God's covenant people sang beautiful 16th century melodies carrying the gravity of eternity. The church offered redemption and certainty, but Harold's curious spirit was never really at home with rigid strictures. Encounters with ecumenical Christians in Geneva revealed a broader stream of life, while readings in philosophy, science, and the arts called into question the historical and ethical claims of literal religion. It was freeing to to see the Bible and its interpretation as a (creative) human production, but also challenging to carry new insights into the tightly woven fabric of faith, tradition, and family. In artistic practice, Harold explored new patterns and processes - a more critical thinking, seeing and making - but art in the church remained suspicious. Comfortable with dissonance, Harold saw that the creative tension in religion could be productive. Nevertheless, the anger stirred by creationist deception, patriarchal insistence, damaging dogma, and purity culture made it difficult to stay. Today, Harold is grateful for what wisdom has wound its way through the fray. He teaches college courses in design and code while developing spiral images from processed digital video. He enjoys cat fostering, and cooking with his partner, Deborah. Curiosity, he says, is the original spin.
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