I recently came across a news story about a group of Catholic Christians in India who are getting serious about deepening the connection between their faith and the visual arts. The story describes the formation of the Indian Christian Artists Forum, which seeks to "promote study and appreciation of Christian art among various sections of the people- clergy, religious and laity in the church, and the wider society in India, and to encourage a deeper understanding, appreciation and application of Indian Christian art in theology, liturgy and architecture in the Church in India." The forum was convened by artist/priest Dr. Paul Kattukaran, and consists of fifteen renowned artists from various parts of India. At their inaugural meeting in August, the group appointed Kattukaran as the national coordinator for the forum.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
In today's post I'm happy to present the contextualized artwork of a missionary recently in the field. Mina Rowland (name changed for security purposes) has been a Southern Baptist missionary in East Africa and South Asia. In her work, she chose to explore the use of henna storying for evangelism. Henna (also known as mehndi in Hindi) is a plant that grows in regions of Africa, southern Asia, Australia and Oceania. Among other things, it's used as a form of body decoration in the form of temporary tattoos, most often by new brides. Henna has been used to decorate women's bodies since the Bronze Age in the Mediterranean area (3000-600 B.C.), and today is used widely by Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians. Henna is even mentioned in the Bible in Song of Solomon 1:14 and 4:13,14.
Before reading the interview below with Mina, please check out the story and video slide show about her use of henna at the AfricaStories website. At the end of the interview, look for additional links and downloadable resources, as well as a related link about a henna art show.