All of my life, from a very young age, I have given religion much thought. As a young girl I bartered good behaviour off in order to be allowed to go to the Catholic church with a family neighbour. I just loved the atmosphere. Standing, sitting, kneeling, dipping, lining up for communion (of which I was not allowed). The priest sang as he led the prayers and on off hours let you tell him secret sins and punish you with Hail Marys. The church itself was opulent as were the lovely wedding dresses (girls got to marry God!) for the first communion services. WOW!! No such thing ever happened in the Protestant church. My mother though would not let me become Catholic nor would she buy me a white bible with a zipper or a necklace with Jesus on the cross. I was perplexed to say the least.
When I got older another friend was going to confirmation lessons at the Anglican church. Now, since my father was Anglican and I was baptised Anglican there was no good reason not to let me go as well. A high Anglican church is the closest thing to being Catholic and I marvelled once again at the traditions of religion and I got to take the host and wine :). We had no dipping water though and no signs of the cross – pity…
When I turned eighteen I was given money as a gift from my parents and advised to spend it on something that would last forever. At that time I fell in love with Lladró Figurines; particularly two of them. One was Don Quixote with his sword looking dashing and swashbuckling at the same time and the other was of a young man obviously deeply engrossed in a book. Both were the same price so it was a dilemma that I asked the owner of the store to help me with. He was an Englishman who knew my father. He kept leading me toward Don Quixote but I was leaning heavily toward the young man with the book. As I made my final decision and headed to the cash to pay he stopped me. He explained that my father would be none too pleased if I came home with a figurine of a Jewish man with a yamaka reading the Torah. What? There was another religion that was frowned upon? It was all too much for me to digest. How was it that the same God was worshipped by masses of people who didn’t like each other because of religion. It boggled my mind then as much as it does today. And I look at Don Quixote now on my shelf, but see the young man with his mind in the book.
Fast forward to recent years when now I have looked at all sorts of religions, their rules and disciplines and the hard to miss rotation around money and power. While visiting three different Muslim countries I became enamoured with Islam and started studying it in its truest form. I will not get into the obvious here as I know there are divided opinions on the whole matter but I was very glad to know that Liam Neesen shared my point of view. My own religion as it turns out is comprised of many philosophies and beliefs. I follow my own religion. It encompasses arms of mercy and grace, humility and love and no one can tell me my choice of religion is wrong.
Much of my artwork rotates around religion(s), the sea, homes and spirituality. The one above is call ‘The Turquoise Eye’ – the symbol in the upper right corner is Arabic for ‘eye’ and the rest is quite clear 🙂
Have a wonderful weekend. It is super cold here without a hint of summer soon to arrive but life is good.
Here are another two that were created directly after the one above. The first is called “Blue Eye” and consecutive one “Blue Mono 3” – again the symbol for the eye is there. See if you can spot it.