On Art and Healing

"The artist is not a special type of human being, but every human being is a special type of artist." (Art Scholar Ananda Coomaraswamy) Jonny Watson's PS article ( Sept 2014) nails the problem with regard to 'education' in general. The affirmation of the individual is the sine qua non. That is what education ought to be about in art... or anything else. You treat kids as God's children of infinite worth and there is a chance you may give them a regard for themselves and others against which no amount of cultural brainwashing via media or television will prevail. Much of what passes for culture is about who we think we are, imagine we are or want others to imagine we are. Continue reading

Art, Faith and Peace The Bogside Artists: the Story Behind the Murals

On 8 April 2015 Contemporary Christianity held a series of events with Dr Adrienne Chaplin, a philosopher of art, and Tom Kelly, Kevin Hasson and William Kelly, often known as the Bogside artists. This was a unique opportunity to learn about the story of faith and hope behind the city's well-known - but often little understood - Bogside murals. Below is a video of the lunchtime event and a recording of the evening event. Art, Faith and Healing: Adrienne Chaplin in conversation with Tom Kelly. Tom spoke talk about the role of faith in his work, and the potential of art and storytelling to promote healing and peace.   Art, Faith and Truth: A talk by Adrienne Chaplin gave an address exploring how the murals, and other art throughout the ages, can disclose truth beyond words.

2010 Catherwood Lecture – Contemporary Art and the Return of Religion

Adrienne Dengerink Chaplin delivered the 2010 Catherwood Lecture, looking at the subject of Contemporary Art and the Return of Religion. She spoke in the University of Ulster’s Magee campus on Wednesday. The video below is from the Thursday night in University of Ulster’s Belfast campus. Amongst the blocks of colour, unmade beds, sheds and rubble, do you see any aspect of religious expression or faith in modern art? Was it a positive representation? Was the art any good? Adrienne suggested that after several centuries of mutual distrust, mainstream contemporary art from Andy Warhol and Andres Serrano to Damien Hirst and Chris Ofili can now be seen to incorporate the kind of religious references which since the origins of modern art had been largely absent. This raises some interesting questions: How do these images relate to their historic, traditional meanings? To whom do religious stories and symbols belong? And how should Christians respond to such works? Dr Adrienne Dengerink Chaplin studied art history and violin in the Free University in Amsterdam, taught philosophical aesthetics at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto, and was president of the Canadian Society for Aesthetics. Her research interests are the problem of meaning in art, art and embodiment, and theological aesthetics. Published in various books and journals and co-author of Art and Soul: Signposts for Christians in the Arts (IVP, 2002), Adrienne is a free-lance writer and speaker, currently writing on the relation between faith and art.