Exploring the pictorial medium as vehicle for prayer.
What can a picture do to facilitate the act of prayer? This was, and still remains an important question I ask myself from time to time.
Is there a well of reference one can use? What can interfere (in a negative sense) in a relationship one tries to establish while praying? What are the main blocks one faces? Should an artist talk to the head or to the heart of the one who prays? Should the artist "impose" his/her view on the subject? If(?) one should efface his/ herself how best to do it? Should the work be figurative or non-figurative?
I find that, nowadays, there is no active, real artistic production that tries to answer these and many other questions regarding this particular aspect of prayer. I feel we have stopped on the 19th century.
As a catholic, I don't find that there has been a formal update on how we relate to images as a mechanism for prayer. We still use images from a long time ago and if we make new ones, the "formula" feels the same - highly codified images that have to be deciphered and that are intended to tell a story or to think about something.
I also feel there's no real access to imagery specifically intended for prayer and the quality ones we can have access to are the traditional christian icons, with a strong presence in the Orthodox Church. Is that enough?
So what to do? I don't really know. But there's a road to be travelled here.