June 01, 2014
In this project I seek to explore the concept of illumination through the act of veneration. The work looks at prayer as an act of attaining a state of higher awareness. Achieving a state of spiritual enlightenment is a goal of a myriad of spiritual systems. If an act of prayer were taking place, the worshipper would have deemed worthy the recipient of this meditation. Examining the idea of giving up one’s will to a higher spirit is a concept that travels through many spiritual systems. In effect many organized spiritual systems are actually stepping outside of the realm of self and acting with the physical body be it kneeling, gesticulating, whirling or joined in a circle to communicate, the mind seeking to attain an elevated state of spiritual awareness within the soul. Therefore the act of passing judgment on faiths of various systems contradicts the unified goals of spiritual enlightenment. A sacred space can be created in the act of worship through prayer enveloping the worshiper. This sacred space can surround the participants and at times extend beyond. Historically, the strife caused by judgments made faith on faith has caused massive decimation in its path. Contemporary spiritual intolerance is no different in its wake of destruction. The goal of the project is not to compare and contrast existing faiths rather to explore the universal truths revelations and unifying forces behind illuminated veneration.
The project is a diptych consisting of two mixed media sculptural compositions. The illuminated fetish offering the dissemination of light to her recipient and receives the veneration. The worshiping fetish locked in the act of prayer to receive the light of illumination. The illuminated fetish has an electrified component which when plugged in slowly moves the candle across her body and tilts it’s head. However, the conceptual aspect of the piece reveals itself in the dangling plug to be installed near an outlet or an active extension cord in the wall yet not engaged. Begging the viewer to ask why it is not plugged in, active or illuminated. It is a metaphor for society’s inability to accept worship if it is not their own belief system disallowing enlightened revelation.
“Mystery is the essence of divinity.” Zora Neale Hurston, Dust Tracks on a Road