“There’s a powerful saying that we tell each other stories — sometimes we need a story more than food in order to live. They tell us about who we are, what is possible for us, what we might call upon. They also remind us we’re not alone with whatever faces us and that there are resources, both within us and in the larger world and in the unseen world, that may be cooperating with us in our struggle to find a way to deal with challenges.”
I carve the curve of a closed eye as I listen to another episode of On Being with Krista Tippett. These podcasts have been my solace in the last few months as I continue to grapple with family illness from afar. Krista hosts a gentle and open hearted space where she invites writers, poets, musicians, artists, philosophers, spiritual teachers, scientists and many more to embark on a conversational journey full of wisdom and inspiration. With Krista’s theologian background she opens up each conversation with the question: “Was there a spiritual or religious background in your childhood?”
Raised in an Irish Catholic family, this has not always been the most welcoming spiritual path for a young girl quietly questioning her own existence and wanting to feel accepted by her family and friends. Over the years I found my own spiritual path through art and music.
Through recent family illness I have been drawn to the iconic imagery that was instilled in the religious teachings of my childhood. In the hospital where my mum spent this New Year after a seizure, I discovered a chapel on the ground floor. I would take time out from the intensity of the hospital ward and find peace in the stillness of this space. A sanctuary. A sanctum. Time to reflect. To relieve the stress. Outside the chapel in the corridor were twelve stained glass panels of saints. I found these a great comfort during my time in the hospital. Partly the familiarity of these iconic images, their story and what they represented but also the aesthetic quality: the details, forms and shapes of colour radiating from these beings of light.
“Beauty is about more rounded, substantial becoming. And I think, when we cross a new threshold, that if we cross worthily, what we do is we heal the patterns of repetition that were in us that had us caught somewhere. And in our crossing, then, we cross onto new ground, where we just don’t repeat what we’ve been through in the last place we were. So I think beauty, in that sense, is about an emerging fullness, a greater sense of grace and elegance, a deeper sense of depth, and also a kind of homecoming for the enriched memory of your unfolding life.”
I began making two colour woodblock prints based on these stained glass panels. Adapting the images for a more reflective inward and meditative quality.
I will be exhibiting a piece of work based around this theme ‘In Praise of Saints’ at The Golden Show at Centre Space Gallery. The piece will combine traditional images of saints and the celebration of contemporary figures who inspire my own spiritual path. (Thank you Lilla Duignan at Seeing Things for our creative buddying space to share, explore and reflect on our creative journeys.) The piece will also be an invitation for people to make their own small offerings.
The Golden Show
Artists Tony and Glen Eastman will be showing their design projects, sculptures, drawings, paintings, prints and short animated films. The exhibition is to celebrate their 50th Golden Wedding Anniversary. Thirty of their talented friends and relatives have been invited to share the gallery space. These artists will be showing prints, ceramics, paintings, photography, sculpture, drawing, jewellery, wood turning, furniture and textiles.
Sunday 12th May - Wednesday 22nd May 2019.
Artists Private View: Friday 17th May 6 - 9pm
Open daily: 11 - 6pm
For more details about the exhibition please click the button below for Centre Space Gallery.