A Visual Interpretation of Sacred Space (part 2-Mission of the Visual Artist)
Art within a Sacred Space is not simply "art for art's sake", nor is it merely decoration. The artist that creates Sacred art has a mission and, therefore, a responsibility to carry out that mission.
1. To reveal ordinary things as extraordinary.
We see birds, the sun, water on a daily basis. These things are common to us. But they have a richer, deeper meaning when used in Sacred Space. "Born of Water and Spirit" (an art quilt) captures the brilliance of color, the graceful curve of a dove’s wing, the elegance and movement of flowing water, and the energy of the rising sun.
2. To make an otherwise plain space beautiful with the rich use of color, light, and texture.
The Life Center at Palm Valley Lutheran Church is a large space with cream colored walls and some light diffused through colored windows.
But the space needed additional color and texture. In the photo above, you can see one banner already in place and the plain wall where the second banner will hang. The banners are a permanent installation.
3. To challenge us to see things in a new way, to see God’s creation in His light.
The art we choose to put in our Sanctuaries should have Spiritual meaning, and a Divine purpose. It makes the space beautiful, no doubt, but should not be chosen based on that alone. Trinity Lutheran has a beautifully carved altar (which will never be covered with a parament!), however, the space behind the altar is another story. Several pieces of art come together here. The light diffused by the stained glass, the dossal hanging behind the altar, and the carved, back lit altar itself all provide stimulus for the Divine imagination!
What do you see, how do you feel when you walk into a Sanctuary?