ART & RELIGIOUS IMAGINATION

 

My art is a means to become aware of, and to engage with, images and symbols arising from my unconscious.  This is both a personal task, as well as a collective project to bring the feminine into the public realm.  I position myself between secularism on the one hand and the institutional religions on the other – even as I am formed by both.  I join in a space between these two extremes, where many philosophers, theologians and artists are re-discovering the sacred and the need for an outlet for the religious instinct. Some examples are David Tacey The Postsecular Sacred, Luce Irigaray Divine Women, Richard Kearney Re-imagining the Sacred, Julia Kristeva This Incredible Need to Believe.  My own contribution circles around how I as a woman can develop as a whole integrated creative person, within a Christian framework.

I draw on depth psychology and in particular C.G. Jung’s descriptions of the Individuation Process.  From practical experience, he suggests that for many, this involves relating to the archetype of Christ whom he sees as a symbol of the Self.  This insight is enlarged through my engagement with feminist theology and my twelve years of living in India.  My western consciousness was expanded by the Hindu religious imagination and later by the Indian Catholic inculturation movement.  I worked with other artists and theologians on designing the new churches and chapels.  I experienced first-hand, how the Gospel can be incarnated in cultural forms that are different from the western ones that I had taken to represent Christian culture per se.

My current work has two aspects.  Through attention to my inner world, I create series of paintings that describe my individuation process.  These pictures take the form of stories, with mythological and symbolic motifs.  In my public sculptural work, I use my imagination to bring my human experience into relationship with the Divine.  One of the traditions that I build on is the Christa.  My overall intention is to make the human and religious experience of contemporary women culturally visible.