Today’s nativity scene is from a contemporary Utah artist Brian Kershisnik. The piece, titled simply Nativity, focuses on the heavenly response to Jesus’ birth, rather than the earthly. Jesus lies sleeping in his mother’s arms, his father sitting in the background seemingly overwhelmed by events (asking himself, ‘What have I gotten myself into?’ according to the artist). There are only a few other earthly onlookers in the painting – two midwives, a dog and her pups – rather than the usual plethora of shepherds, magi, oxen, cattle, and sheep we often see in traditional nativity scenes. Instead, Kershisnik pushes the earthly into a small corner of his canvas, cramming the rest of his space with a mob of angels, who crowd round and jostle to catch a glimpse of this extraordinary infant. Even child-angels are included in the multitude – it is as though this heavenly outing to see the first nativity scene really is a family event.
To hear Brian Kershisnik talk about this piece, follow the link here.