PNG Artist’s Art piece of US Marine’s Divine Experience

A PNG painter decided to put his work of a US Marine’s supposition on the wall of a private space at Vision City in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

Before flying out of the country for jobs overseas, Aravapo Leo who is known by everyone as ‘Apo’, recently completed one of his spectacular murals which is painted on the walls of one of the private space inside Vision City Mega Mall.

“A friend of mine from the States; his dad is a Marine in the US Army who just came back from the tour from Afghanistan and he felt like during the time of duty he was protected by an angel, hence he asked me to prepare an art piece for him and this is how this thing came about.” Leo told EMTV Online.

His dazzling artwork depicts the face of a lion and is composed of several designs and drawings artistically arranged and this whole artistic composition sort of tells a story of its own.

He said the painting is about Michael, the Angel of War, whose image was designed right in the middle top of the artwork. Here Michael is seen holding on to a sword with both hands. The overall design of Michael forms the nose of the Lion.

To be precise, there were several Michaels included in the painting and each one tells its own story.

“This is Michael as well, over here, and this is a featured event the Bible talks and prophecies about time coming when Michael defeats the devil and cast it into the bottomless pits.”

He said one of the dangers about painting angels is that people might get the wrong idea and think that we worship angels. He reiterated that angels are just messengers and they are just go-between and they follow orders. Leo explained that this is the reason why, all components of his work for this artwork are placed within the face of the lion.

“The Lion of Judah who is the Lord Jesus Christ to be specific and just to say that this is the focus. He is the reason why.”

Leo’s work comparatively used Pacific style of arts when it comes to angel Michael’s clothing. He explained that a lot of Western artists when depicting archangels in their aprons, they give them European facial features and give them robes like they are Europeans.

“But I am a Pacific Islander so when I decided to put this Warrior (angel Michael), I thought, if he were to appear to the Pacific Islanders, he will look like a Pacific Islander,” Leo said. He said the angel will be in his tapa cloth and he will be fully toned with Pacific dress.

According to Leo, the art is a little bit in detail as it includes the armour mentioned in Ephesians Chapter 6, the Harp of David of the Hebraic Bible which depicts praise.

Most of Leo’s time and effort seem to have been taken up by the master piece, but he was proud to show it to EMTV Online explaining each piece of the overall artwork with enthusiasm.

“This is a soldier being guarded or protected by an angel,” Leo said pointing at the drawings of an angel and soldier in the artwork.

“It is very rare that I get a job where I really enjoy it because it’s a thing that I am passionate about as well. So when he mentioned angels, and scriptures in Psalms 91 and how angels watch over God’s children, I was really gotten into it”.

The young painter from the Trobriand Islands in the Milne Bay province, said most of the designs and patterns seen in his artwork are from the Trobriand Islands and he took his cousins to work on this project.

“And I haven’t had to tell them much because we grew up with the same patterns, designs and motives.”

Never having gone to a school to learn to paint, Leo said his older brothers who are painters were his mentors whom he gives credit to. Leo grew up painting at home and he paints on canvas and small boards and papers. He got influenced by street artists who use spray paints and paint on walls when he was in Melbourne, Australia.

“When you paint on wall, you got lots of space and it gives the opportunity to everyone to enjoy the whole process unlike painting on canvas”

Claiming to be the storyteller of the Pacific Island, Leo said Pacific Islanders rarely value art although their life revolves around it. He said to make a living out of art is really hard and urges people to at least spend on art.

The artwork he painted tells a story of divine security and protection in times of trouble.

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Elizah Palme

Elizah Palme

studied Chemistry at the University of Papua New Guinea and lists his best achievements as being President of UPNG Jiwaka Students Fellowship in 2015 and current Vice President of Jiwaka Students and Graduates Association, Inc.

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