UNVEILED Artist Insights—Scott Wilson

May 5, 2021

When I start my day, I am praying for our world. I find myself praying a lot about the news. Every day you pick up the news and you see it—the world is scarred.

When Upper House’s Melissa Haunty called Scott Wilson about exhibiting his art at UNVEILED, she had a specific request—she hoped he would submit a three-dimensional sculpture. Since retiring from InterVarsity Christian Fellowship-USA, where he was once the Communication Director and managed large events on three continents, Scott has turned his attention to fine woodworking. The piece he created for UNVEILED rests on a pedestal: a subdued globe, dark and dusted with gold, precisely balanced upon seven cherry wood fingertips—the hand of God.

Scott says, “When I start my day, I pray for our world. I find myself praying a lot about the news. Every day you pick up the news and you see it—the world is scarred.”

After Melissa’s call, the African American spiritual, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands,” started playing in Scott’s mind: “I sometimes get miffed at God, admits Scott, “because of the way he’s holding the world.” He dove into the tension and designed “In Whose Hands.” God’s seven fingers (seven symbolizes perfection) cradle an orb that represents the earth, which is rough as sandpaper, slashed and shedding a droplet of blood.

Scott says, in beholding the world, he is thinking about more than the environmental crises and natural disasters, “but the people in it, the experiences we have, and the oneness of us. We are made from dust and return to dust. We are part of it. Hence the deep gash – a hint of blood – the world is scarred. There’s a crack in it, or maybe there’s a crack in me – the pain I feel.”

“But it’s not all dark and bleak. If you look at the piece, the outside has a lot of texture, natural sand, the dust of the earth. But it also has a lot of real gold dust on it.” Years ago, Scott inherited from his father a can of 14 karat gold dust. “When you look in the cracks, there’s black, but there’s gold. In the darkness—both on and below the surface, there’s gold, wonder, value— sparkling stuff. Inside of us it’s the same. There’s the blackness of doubt and sin, but God sees us as valuable. When we come to prayer, we come as wounded and broken people, but we come to God as people who have tremendous value.”

In his description for UNVEILED Scott wrote, “It’s worth noting that Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, got up from the dinner table and used his hands to wash the disciples’ feet. (John 13) Jesus saw something valuable and worth caring for in the disciples’ dirty feet; maybe that can fill us with hope. And maybe that is exactly what we should ask God to help us do with the little pieces of the world placed in our hands.”