Light as a Symbol and an Art Medium

By: Pavlína Kašparová  

Light as an ancient symbol adopted by many religions, Christianity included, recently became an independent medium of art which has the power to grasp attention and to achieve strong emotional reactions from its audience. Over the last few years, there was a boom in light installations used in fine art, architecture and the entertainment industries. Some of them were also presented at (or inspired by) sacred places, for example, Miguel Chevalier's installation Dear World… Yours, Cambridge, King's College Chapel, Cambridge, UK, in 2015 or the cathedral-like installation by Luminarie de Cagna light design company in Ghent, Belgium in 2018. However, only a few had the capacity to serve also for liturgical purposes without taking too much attention away from the liturgy. This conflict is a challenge for those contemporary light artists who want to revive this symbol in Churches. Practice-based research in theology and fine art reveals and develops new approaches in creating ecclesiastical art using light as a contemporary medium and a strong transcendental symbol, which can become a way of re-thinking the position of the visual arts in Protestant Churches and bring more contemporary art into the Catholic Church. In the presentation artwork in progress will be shown, allowing artists, church ministers, and others to understand the process of making art using the medium of light and following the Catholic Church requirements for the visual arts.

Symbols, Contemporary, Art, Practice, Light, Religion
2019 Special Focus—Universal Religious Symbols: Mutual Influences and Specific Relationships
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Pavlína Kašparová

PhD Student, Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology, Anglia Ruskin University; Cambridge Theological Federation, United Kingdom
United Kingdom