Saving God’s Creation
The earth lies polluted under its inhabitants; for they have transgressed laws,
violated the statutes, broken the everlasting covenant. Isa 24:5
A.Vonn Hartung designed this poster for an ecumenical conference on the environment organized by the Catholic Commission on Justice and Peace in Puerto Rico on Earth Day 1993.
The poster is interactive. Hence the participants who purchased the posters received crayons. Proceeds went to the Faith-based environmental movement.
It depicts St. Francis giving thanks for Creation but he stands in a semi-polluted world. The scripture reading is from Isaiah 24:5 (“The earth is also polluted by its inhabitants, for they transgressed laws, violated statutes, broke the everlasting covenant”).
“Latter-Day Jonah” is a concept, that is, a drawing with a paste on image of planet Earth. It speaks of the crisis that we face with climate change due to the overuse of carbons in our energy consumption. Furthermore it highlights the unsustainable development that is taking place because of our predatory economic system. In fact, the technology that we have developed is so powerful that it is threatening to destroy the natural balance of God’s creation.
The threat that we witness in the drawing is both the terrestrial devastation shown by the power of the bulldozer and the crisis we face in over-fishing and pollution of our oceans. Here we see a young fisherman being swallowed like Jonah by a giant fish. This is symbolic of the Awakening of consciousness that we as a species are Awakening to as scientific data is revealed to us.
This drawing in some ways is a self-portrait. Indeed I recall becoming aware of the crisis that we face as Humanity peers into and contemplates our future.