The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. The vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as seemed good to him to do. Then the word of the Lord came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand…” (from Jeremiah 18)
This passage from Jeremiah inspired Henri Lindegaard, a French Prostestant pastor, poet and painter, to meditate deeply on its meaning. In this ink drawing, Lindegaard conveys the patient and purposeful work of God as a potter, muscularly making something useful — and even beautiful — from the simplest of materials. Lindegaard was born in Spain in 1925, the son of a Danish father and a Spanish mother. In 1942, Lindegaard and his family made the unlikely trip north to German-occuplied France to seek refuge in the Huguenot town of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, a haven for Jews fleeing from the Nazis, located in the mountains of south-central France. Influenced by Cubist painters, Lindegaard developed a distinctive style of woodcut-like black-and-white ink drawings, a compilation of which were published after his death in 1996, with a selection of his Biblical interpretations in poetry, as La Bible des Contrastes (2003). His drawings incorporate elements which, despite their simplicity, suggest a profound theological meaning. Indeed, He is the potter, and we are His clay.