The use of religion and spirituality in contemporary art @ Royal Academy of Arts, London [16 February]

The use of religion and spirituality in contemporary art


1960
16
February
11:00 - 12:30

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Royal Academy of Arts
Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1J 0 London, United Kingdom
The preoccupation with fundamental questions of life is often central to an artist, their work and their audiences. Join our panel, including Marina Warner and Professor Ben Quash, as they examine how artists and the public might “use” contemporary art as a means to express and reflect on religion and spirituality.

Art can challenge our beliefs and provoke debate. For an artist, art can be a place where personal thoughts and beliefs can be expressed and problems can be detoxified. Our panel questions whether an audience can achieve an emotional or spiritual connection through art? Are they more likely to visit a museum than a place of worship? In contrast, what is intended when contemporary art is shown in a place of worship? Can we find meaning in the fundamental questions of life through art?

Panellists include writer, historian and mythographer Marina Warner, and Professor of Christianity and the Arts at King’s College London, Ben Quash. Further panellists to be announced.

Speakers:
Marina Warner is a writer of fiction and cultural history. Her studies of sacred stories, symbolism and women include Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and Cult of the Virgin Mary (1976); Joan of Arc: The Image of Female Heroism (1982); and Monuments & Maidens: The Allegory of the Female Form (1988). More recently she has published studies of fairy tales and the Arabian Nights. In 2015 she was awarded the Holberg Prize in the Arts and Humanities and was made DBE. She is a Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society, Professor of English and Creative Writing at Birkbeck College, a Fellow of the British Academy and President of the Royal Society of Literature. A collection of essays on art and artists, Forms of Enchantment, came out last year published by Thames & Hudson.

Ben Quash became King’s College London’s first Professor of Christianity and the Arts in 2007. Prior to that, he was a lecturer in the Faculty of Divinity in the University of Cambridge. He is fascinated by how the arts can renew people’s engagement with the Bible and Christian tradition, and is directing a major 7-year project to create an online Visual Commentary on Scripture. He runs an MA in Christianity and the Arts in association with the National Gallery, London, and broadcasts frequently on BBC radio. His publications include Abiding: The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book 2013 (Bloomsbury, 2012) and Found Theology: History, Imagination and the Holy Spirit (T&T Clark, 2014).
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