Friday, April 17, 2015

Continuing to Explore Art as Prayer

Back at St Peter in the Woods for an evening as part of their Lenten series, we continued to explore art as prayer. 
Once again it was wonderful to see people play and stretch and interact - with materials and with each other. Stations offered doodling as prayer, collage, mandala drawings, and decorating prayer candles.  
To start us off I shared my belief statement about studio work:
A studio is a sacred space - a space to explore and form relationships with materials, with others and with a deeper sense of self. The act of making quiets the mind, invites us to be fully present and opens us up to connections. Moments of connection spark curiosity, wonder, gratitude, and the urge to share what we discover. Sometimes we leave traces in images and objects we make; other times are more fleeting and leave their mark in new ways of seeing, empathy for another or a feeling of groundedness and connection to something greater. Community helps hold and tend this space - a creative and spiritual home for solitude as well shared experience.

Looking at the pictures, I am reminded how sharing materials around a table can feel similar to sharing a meal around a table. There is a sense of fellowship that develops in this gathering. We had more time to dig in to the materials tonight and participants were able to move around to try different materials. Some work was more social while others worked silently. Having others trying something new around you can support a personal practice and help hold the space. Artist, Ann Hamilton uses the phrase "alone together" and I love this description for group art-making because it does create spaces for solitude and deep personal reflection within the setting of community.

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