This course explores the interaction of material and spiritual influences in visual art - earthly and heavenly, immanent and transcendent, ephemeral and permanent, presence and absence. Visual arts and religion have had a long and at times turbulent relationship and there is still a constant search for a spiritual connection through art.
The Art & Spirituality course is ideal for students who are curious about exploring spirituality through art. Drawing on the resources of the historic visual art of Western Christianity, the course brings this into the wider spiritual context of the contemporary world. The course allows students of all ranges of experience to create artwork which responds to, examines or expresses spiritual ideas and practices. Playful exploration, reflection and encouragement accompany students on their artistic and spiritual journeys.
The course focuses on the practical application of mixed media and includes observational drawing, painting, mark making, the use of colour and the construction of textured surfaces as well as exploring moods and emotions. Music, poetry, the natural world and everyday objects are used to stimulate creativity and reflection and a wide range of artists’ work is used for inspiration. As the course progresses students are encouraged to further experiment and challenge themselves through a variety of art media. There is an emphasis on process as well as finished pieces. Through this, students build and develop a personal artistic vocabulary and language. Through one-to-one teaching, reflection, individual and group critiques, students are encouraged to assess their own artistic practices. Lectures to inform and stimulate practical work are given each week and there are regular group discussions and seminars. Progress is assessed collaboratively by student and tutor throughout. In the final term students develop personal projects to create individual artworks for the Summer Exhibition in June.
The Art & Spirituality course is seen as a journey for each student, with individuals encouraged to develop their own goals and personal practise, particularly in the final term. As a natural outcome of working towards this, students will produce a range of work in two and three dimensions, which will form a unique record of their progress.