‘Spillage’ (2019)

Laura Gascoigne in the Spectator describes Elliot Walker’s ‘SPILLAGE’ (2019), which I saw exhibted last week, as ‘a sleekly modernist bottle and accompanying pool of red wine, hot-sculpted and cold-carved’. Here we have a half-filled wine bottle, an upset tumbler (wine, in a tumbler?) and a puddle. Although the piece I very much like, I detest spillages; they bespeak waste and loss. The wise woman of Tekoa admonishes King David:

“For we will surely die and become like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again.” 1 Samuel 14:14

Here, she tells us, death is like spillage: a waste, a loss, possibly staining and leaving behind a residue of grief and pain. That seems like a good description of death. The gospel, thank God, recovers the irrecoverable and fixes the unfixable. Christ gathers in His dying and decaying people so that they will live again- unbroken, unstained and unspoiled.