Faith and Arts Cluster Group

The Faith and Art Cluster group was established to address the relationship between Art and Christianity. After the annual Catherwood lecture in November 2010, delivered by Dr. Adrienne Dengerink Chaplin, many were challenged with images of mainstream art which incorporated religious symbols. Turner Prize nominees and winners such as Damian Hirst, Chris O’Fili, Andy Warhol, and Andres Serrano left many of us asking the question, “Is there a bridge between Art and Christianity in the aesthetics of today’s contemporary society?” The conversations held over a cup of tea after the lecture highlighted that there was a key interest in further investigating the relation between art and faith, asking questions such as:
  • Is there a relation between contemporary art and Christianity?
  • How should Christians respond to mainstream images?
  • Can there be an interaction between Art and the Church in Northern Ireland?
  • How should Christian Artists respond to Northern Irish society around them?
At our first cluster group meeting, we aimed to establish what exactly our group was, and a direction in which we could move forward together. Through a brain-storming session we decided that our group was “a collaboration of people interested in exploring faith and art”, and our aim is to “encourage one another as Christian artists, explore the potential of engaging non-Christian viewers with our work, and address the sacred/secular divide in the art world”. As a Christian Artist, this group has been a real source of encouragement for my own practice, and has particularly broadened my horizons into the various perceptions of sacred/secular art. The Faith and Art Group would love to welcome new members to its exploration of the topic. We meet on a monthly basis on a Tuesday evening at the Contemporary Christianity Offices. Why not pop by and see what we’re about for yourself. Click here to watch a video of the 2010 Catherwood Lecture given by Adrienne Dengerink Chaplin, looking at the subject of Contemporary Art and the Return of Religion Click here for a review of the 'Heaven in a Nightclub' jazz evening in February 2013. If you’re interested in coming along, please don’t hesitate to contact info@contemporarychristianity.net

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