A Visual Interpretation of Sacred Space (part 3-Putting it All Together)
The past couple of months, I have defined Sacred Space and talked about the mission of the visual artist within that space. Now it's time to put the artist's creation where it belongs-in the Sacred Space it was designed and created for.
First, whether it is a painting, sculpture, or Altar parament, artwork should always enhance the beauty of the Sacred space rather than detracting from it. In other words, the artwork should come together, after all, the Divine is revealed to us through the beauty of the Sacred Space as a whole.
Second, the artwork is created specifically for the space, therefore it is not complete until it is installed in the Sacred Space it was created for. Lighting, architecture, existing artwork (including stained glass) should all be taken into consideration when designing a new piece, so it is very important that the artist has access to photos of the space (if not the space itself) before starting work. I love to visit Sacred Spaces whenever possible. I understand the worship community much better when I can physically see the space.
Finally, but most importantly, the intent of the artwork is to deepen the worship experience, not merely to be used as decoration. Each of the pieces shown above were created for specific worship communities, and each piece has a deep meaning for that community. They represent much more than decoration.
Ultimately, artwork within Sacred Space tells the story of Christ, bringing worshipers closer to God, and giving people a beautiful and meaningful worship experience.