A woman is sitting in a grain of wheat, mixing leaven into flour and kneading the dough to make bread. Ears of wheat have sprung up from the earth and are growing towards the light.
This is a symbolic image of the Kingdom of God, which is “like leaven which a woman took and hid in threee measures of flour” (Luke 13:21) and “like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his garden” (Luke 13:19)
The artist here also alludes to the daily hardship and toil of the women in India, who, although among the poorest of the poor, have to ensure the survival of their families. At the same time, her painting invites us to look for God’s seed in our own everyday lives so that by our concern for the poor and the oppressed we may contribute to making real the message of His Kingdom. The open-ended seed signifies that the growing of God’s Kingdom is also a process of passing through death to bring about new life: “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24).
From the Leigh Russell Memorial Panel