Religion, Spirituality & The Arts

"Death: 2" from The End In My Beginning. A four part exploration of my synesthesia done in conjunction with Butler University's Religion, Spirituality and the Arts seminar. 

"Death: 2" from The End In My Beginning. A four part exploration of my synesthesia done in conjunction with Butler University's Religion, Spirituality and the Arts seminar. 

Religion, Spirituality & the Arts—directed by Rabbi Sandy Sasso: This Symposium is a new initiative to bring people together from diverse artistic disciplines, practices and religious/spiritual perspectives for a sustained study and reflection on a Biblical text. Selected participants were part of a seminar that engaged with the sacred text as they seek inspiration to create new work (music, poetry, visual art, dance, drama, narrative, liturgical art).

For my final project for this seminar I create a set of pieces based off of both the ideas we explored in class and through my partnership with author Monica Bergers. 

"The End In My Beginning” is both an exploration of my Buddhist faith and my creative process as a synesthetic.  Because my faith believes that there is no true end, only rebirth and continuation, the work begins with an end and ends with a beginning; the four panels represent death, birth, death and birth again.  The white space surrounding the paintings represents enlightenment and freedom from the cyclical nature of existence; a potential that exists in each lifetime.  

My synesthesia played a pivotal role in the creation of these works.  Synesthesia is a condition where the senses become intermixed—in my case I see colors when I hear sounds and vice-versa.  Synnesthetics have the ability to forge new connections between their senses and during the course of my partnership with Monica Bergers, for the first time in my life, I worked to actively forge a new connection in my sense by connecting words to sounds and visual stimuli.  I worked with each selected text, listening the shape and color of the words, then selected a song that matched the shapes, rhythm or colors that I was seeing and then painted the soundscapes from the songs.  In this way, the paintings are inspired by, but not direct representations of of the text. It is my hope to share a piece of my sensory experience with the viewer through these abstract works.

Here is the complete playlist, in order, of songs I used to create these pieces:

Death: 1 Text: Everything still and permanent—his work—it all added to the same nothing Music: "I'll be seeing you" by Billie Holiday  

Death: 1

Text:

Everything still and permanent—his work—it all added to the same nothing

Music:

"I'll be seeing you" by Billie Holiday

 

Birth: 1 Text: It was the kind of night that was so quiet you could hear rumblings in the distance, when the stark cries of insects mollified to a slow chant, slicing through air like a sling blade. Music: "Upwards Over The Mountain" by Iron & Wine  

Birth: 1

Text:

It was the kind of night that was so quiet you could hear rumblings in the distance, when the stark cries of insects mollified to a slow chant, slicing through air like a sling blade.

Music:

"Upwards Over The Mountain" by Iron & Wine

 

Death: 2 Text: Should be everything happens for a reason, and if you ain’t found it, you’re still in it. Music: "Time" By Tori Amos

Death: 2

Text:

Should be everything happens for a reason, and if you ain’t found it, you’re still in it.

Music:

"Time" By Tori Amos

Birth: 2 Text: There’s a lot of wishes. Music: "All The World Is Green" by Tom Waits

Birth: 2

Text:

There’s a lot of wishes.

Music:

"All The World Is Green" by Tom Waits

To hear the complete playlist used to create these pieces please click here.

RSA5.png

The show will be up through the end of March at Christian Theological Seminary at Butler University.