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The artist has in common with his Creator a desire to realize ideas in form. Those ideas may be inspired by observation of nature, life experience, Liturgy, other works of art, pain and suffering, hopes and dreams, but ultimately spring from the touch of the Holy Spirit. What we observe about the process and results of our own attempts to create forms gives us new insight into the human person, as the highest of God’s creations.
In this talk for fellow artists in the Contemporary Religious Artists Association, I reflected on the Catholic understanding of form in music, poetry, architecture and personhood, and the experience of art as a spiritual practice. The arts can in-form our spiritual lives, and our faith is expressed in creative forms that draw radiance from the Liturgy.
It was interesting to get feedback from listeners that they had indeed felt a sort of wall between Being a Catholic and Being an Artist. I felt grateful that this talk helped them better integrate those aspects of being. The full text is available on the CRAA site.
Souls at Work also deals greatly with the glories of form – looking through form, entering into and understanding form, and creating form. I love to use the word ‘form’ instead of ‘art,’ because most people don’t consider themselves artists, and need to learn that they still are makers-of form. When we organize a gardening club, or make a quilt, or write a letter, or offer a courteous gesture, we are making forms that hold meaning and potentially have beauty. You’ll find me ranting about this a lot!