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Confessions of a Hindu-Catholic Artist

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image of Religion and the Arts

During my first twelve years in India I studied Hindu art and philosophy, encountering "inculturated" Catholic Christianity for the first time. When I returned to the United Kingdom, I was struck by a manifest separation between the dry, orderly church, and the imaginative world of "New Age" networks such as Dances of Universal Peace. In 1999 I received a major commission to re-design a church in Wales. This opening allowed me to use art as a means to bring some of the insights gained in India into a Western Christian context. After this public work, I made a series of personal pictures that depicted the healing and empowering effect of the new public images (archetypes) on my inner world. I then tried to connect the work in the church to liturgy but found no opening in the UK. In 2003, I returned to India to the Fireflies Intercultural Centre in Bangalore. There I found a "laboratory of the spirit" that provided the right conditions for serious religious experimentation. In 2007, I found a way to express the vision of the artwork in the Welsh church via an embodied liturgy. Using masks representing the Elements, I worked with an Indian Catholic priest to create a cosmic Easter Triduum.

Affiliations: 1: Bangalore, Karnataka, India


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