Friday, February 11, 2005

Artwork, Spirituality, and ADD part two

I have grown to understand that my artwork is deeply spiritual not for its subject, but for its process. My work is very reductive. You cannot walk by and quickly understand what it means, or what it stands for. In fact without my explainations, you may not be able to "get it" at all. But what becomes apparent for me is the process and the spirituality of that, is what I need to focus on.

Generally I build a wooden panel. I will usually cut the wood myself, and then nail and glue it together. I then sand the edges to an imperfect roundness. I coat the entire piece with a layer of drywall mud, or what is called in Australia finishing plaster. There will usually be natural cracks and imperfections, I will apply another coat to lesson but not remove these. Then I will apply layer after layer of paint. Each layer I will sand thouroughly by hand. In the end the bottom colors will sand through the top colors revealing the flaws and imperfections of the surface. When the piece is done, I will rub it with my bare hand for sometimes hours. The oils in my hand in effect polishing the piece to an intense sheen. This is very labor intensive, and the process becomes the piece.

In my artwork, the process is like a mantra. It settles my spirit, it connects me to God, it is prayer. The end result hopefully will be the passing on of a spiritual calm, and truth to others.

In part three I will discuss the changing roll of the artist throughout society, and explain why I believe the church should embrace the arts again in our post modern culture. It is in my opinion one of the more exiting distinctives of the emerging church.

the rev


Kel said...

These pieces speak to me of calm and space - perhaps, a stillspace. Thank you for sharing them.
The church has never been great at embracing artists - at least not ones who don't sing or play an instrument.
But we are made in His image, and who is He. The original creator. It would make sense that creativity and Christianity should be synonymous.

Kitty Cheng said...

"The process becomes the piece" - wow it's very meaningful Rev. Thanks for the insight!

I reckon we can move from being just a spiritual seeker to being a creator, and we are all artists in some ways. I definitely agree that arts are extremely important for the emerging church in this post-christendom era.

The Rev said...

Thanks guys, I really appreciate your comments. I hope the creativity of the church becomes again one of our beautiful legacies.

the rev

Stacy said...

These pieces are gorgeous! I just want to look at them all day. And does it make me sound like a freak if I admit I really, really would like to run my hands over them?

The Rev said...

No it doesn't make you a freak, I actually like people to touch my pieces. They have a very sensual feel. Most people are surprised they don't feel like ceramic, they actually get mistaken for ceramic.

Glad you liked them.

you can see another series of paintings I did called wounds at under the name reverend, as well as pictures of my family and friends

the rev

Bruce said...

Beautiful artwork Rev.