Its been a while since I have updated the blog, now the winter is over I can continue with the development of the boxes. The project with the group has now come to an end, which resulted in the group performing at West Minster Abbey. But for me the work continues beyond the project. One of our recent visits to the Imperial War Museum I came across the display of a portable communion set from Reverend Bullance who gave communion to the soldiers during world war one.
I assisted the group on a visit to St Sava's church which is part of several Serbian Orthodox Church in the UK. Under the auspices of the Serbian Patriarchate in Belgrade, belonging to Anglo-Scandinavian diocese headed by Mr. Bishop Dositej. Save Setog Church is Catholic, the main and largest Serbian Orthodox church in England.
Most Serbs settled in London yglavnom immediately after World War II. These were mostly former soldiers, allies of the British army, who came to England not wanting to return to his homeland where he reigned communist regime. According to the recent war in the former Yugoslavia intensified influx of Serbs who fled from the troubles caused by the dissolution of the local government. It is estimated that about 40 thousand Serbs living in London and the surrounding region.
Church of Saint Sava was built in 1903. as an Anglican church dedicated to Saint Columba. He later converted to the service of the Serbian Orthodox Church. The consecration was performed 1952nd year. Cinodejstvovao a large Serbian theologian and philosopher of almost saint, Bishop Nikolaj Velimirovic. The building is very spacious, with a modest brick interior. It is decorated with beautiful frescoes which are mostly copies of works from the walls of Serbian monasteries 13th century, the territory of Kosovo and Metohija. Especially noteworthy is the iconostasis of carved wood made of walnut wood and richly decorated with icons. On the two panels are painted two large Serbian saint, St. Sava and St. Simeon his father.
In front of the altar are two thrones, izrezbarana also in walnut. One is for the bishop, and the other royal family. The royal throne were often sitting members of our royal family while they lived in exile here in London. We are proud to say that in this throne sat and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. July 1957. and it was His Royal Highness Prince Philip were godparents at the baptism of Maria Tatiana, the daughter of Prince Andrew FRY. It was not the first time that the Queen was godmother at baptism member of our royal family. Twenty Fourth October 1945. year, it is still a princess, Elizabeth and His Majesty King George VI were godparents to Prince Alexander, son of Peter II. Here is another example of the strong ties between the British and the Serbian people.
Church Sunday School was very well attended. That students of all ages to learn Serbian language, history and theology. At school, teachers work ten volunteers. Our church and the adjacent building of the Serbian community and is regularly visited by British schools to teach about the Serbian Orthodox religion and culture in general. Circle of Serbian Sisters, church choir, school folklore, youth and community groups spiritual St. Alypius the Stylite, all together make up the forward-looking pious and cultural community.
When you get tired of worldly cares and want to relax and take a break, please come visit us. Your Church is expecting you.
We welcome you all with open arms and open hearts."
(Please note all the text has been pasted from http://www.waymarking.com)
Paintings from the Serbian cafe: The staff very kindly opened their doors to the group and served us wonderful local food. Here are some paintings that hang in the cafe.
Above image is a close up of paintings hanging in the church.
We are planning to take the Thursday group to the Neasden Hindu Temple in North London. I had the opportunity to go and explore the temple on Sunday 7th January. It was a very humbling experience, the temple itself is stunning with the most beautiful carvings within the foundation of the building. I am now contemplating on working on my fourth box, this one will be based on Hinduism, which I will start working on within the next couple of weeks. I wasn't allowed to take photographs, so have uploaded images from the temples leaflets, also all text about Hinduism is credited to BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir.
Hinduism teaches one to see the presence of God in everything and thus honour the whole of creation. With this perspective, there are no heathens or enemies. Everyone has the right to evolve spiritually and will at some time realise the truth. Hinduism is, in a sense, generous; souls are not limited to one life - many lives offer many chances for elevation. At the same time, Hinduism is rigorous; people are responsible for every action they perform, through the Law of Karma.
The Major belief of Hinduism include;
PARABRAHMAN: One supreme, all-powerful God. He is the Creator, has a divine form, is immanent, transcendent and the granter of moksha.
AVATARVAD: Manifestation of God on earth. God Himself manifests on earth in various forms to revive Dharma and grant moksha.
KARMAVAD: law of Action. According to its past and present actions, the soul reaps fruits -good or bad - which are exprienced either in this life or future lives.
PUNAR-JANMA: Reincarnation. the immortal soul is repeatedly born and reborn in one of millions of life-forms until it attains moksha.
MOKSHA: Spiritual liberation. The liberation of the soul from the perpetual cycle of births and deaths, to remain eternally in the blissful presence of God in His transcendental abode and here on earth, is the ultimate goal of human life.
GURU-SHISHYA SAMBANDH: Guru-disciple relationship. The guidance and grace of a spiritually enlightened teachers is essential for an aspirant seeking liberation.
DHARMA: an all-encompassing term representing divine law, law of being, path of righteousness, religion, duty, responsibility, virtue, justice, goodness and truth.
VEDA-PRAMANA: Authority of Vedic scriptures. Hindu faiths accept the spiritual authority of the four Vedas, each of which consist of the Samhita, Brahmana, Aranyaka and Upanished texts.
MURIT PUUJA: Worship of sacred imaged of God. Devotees worship images ritually infused with the presence of God to develop and express their relationship with him.
While on my White Rabbit A1 tour I stopped off at Barnsley and came across this amazing memorial. Oaks Colliery Disaster 1886 ( look at this website for more info) http://healeyhero.co.uk/rescue/pits/Oak.htm
Now on to my third box, each piece exploring different religions does throw up new experiences and new challenges, sometimes feel out of my depth, but that is a good thing, to research and explore and then as an artist to try to bring all the information together, to be able to produce a piece of work in relation to the religion that I am currently looking at. Over the last few days I have been talking with friends who are Muslim exploring and trying to understand the foundation of Islam. This is what I received:
Islam follows Five Pillars, they are:
1. Shahadah (Faith)
2. Salat (Prayer)
3. Zakat (Charity)
4.Sawm (Fasting during Ramadan)
5. Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia)
Those are the foundations of ISLAM and what ISLAM encounters. There are also Six Pillars of Imaan (Faith), these are what a MUSLIM should encounters.
1. To believe in Allah (God)
2. To believe in His Angels
3. To believe in His books
4. To believe in His messenger (Muhammed PBUH)
5. To believe in the Day of Judgement
6. To believe in the Divine Destiny
Love, Peace and Respect relates to all of the above,also sacrifice plays a huge role within Islam. Both of the five and six pillars demonstrate that mentally and spiritually. In order to have Love, Peace and Respect you also need to give (sacrifice). Islam is all about sharing, being kind and having Tawaakul (trust in Allah).
I am going to begin working on this box today: In Islamic art there are three elements that also follows a hierarchy 1.Geometry (which is the base) 2. Biomorphic (sub base) Calligraphy (top of the spectrum) the word of God. In history Islamic artists will have had to work with theologians and Astronomers.
Here is the finished piece, which was a challenge as I was so tempted to fill it with objects, but then decided to strip it all back and keep it simple, to allow the space of nothingness, using gold acrylic paint and varnish I have created the circle with a texture, in really needs to be seen in person to appreciated it. Also the photograph does not do it justice as has distorted the colour, but at least it gives you a sense of this work.
Now the summer is over and we can get back to making some work. I have started on a new box, focusing on Buddhism, which is a challenge as there are so many practices and various versions of Buddhism. I have decided what ever I create will be in essence rather than a representation. Here is work in progress.
Went to the https://gardenmuseum.org.uk/ with the group today, it has been completely renovated, new eating place, gardens, exhibition and teaching rooms. A place to celebrate British Gardens.
Here are images of the carved figures at the end of the pews in one of the small chapels inside Westminster Cathedral.
A return visit with the group to Westminster Cathedral some wonderful mosaics and interesting objects and relics, right up my street. I also came across some beautiful carvings on pews will post the images.
Spike Mclarrity is a live art performance artist. He also paints, photographs, makes installations from a wide diverse range of mediums and materials. Spike has an MA in performance and Visual practices. He travels all over the world performing and makes regular trips to Japan.