The discovery of religion in art today…



“The realm of the spiritual…

“The realm of the spiritual is mysterious and inviting. It is a place where we are encouraged to explore the unknown; to search, ponder, and reflect. It is a place where we can gain a greater knowledge of self and sometimes, sometimes, even find illumination. And yet it is a realm shrouded in mystery. We do not always know how to get there and never know what we might find when we arrive. There is no definitive map or designated entrance to this state of mind – we are each on our own when it comes to assessing the spiritual. As such, it sometimes surprises us, sneaking up on us in unexpected places. For many of us, art can open a door into the spiritual realm.”

(Lynn M. Herbert, ‘Regarding Spirtiuality’, Art: 21, p68)


Beneath the Spire – The Story of York St Mary’s, York Art Gallery’s Contemporary Art Space

York St Mary’s is a deconsecrated church in York, England, which is used to show contemporary art installations. This film looks at the history of the building itself, St Mary’s Church, Castlegate, and takes a look back at the varied works which have been shown since it opened as York St Mary’s, a contemporary art venue. Some artists have created site specific works for the space; some works have been chosen as they fit so well within it. Discover some of the peace and inspiration others have found in the building, in this film, featuring York Museums Trust’s head curator, Andrew Morrison, and curator of art, Laura Turner.


“Every civilization…

“Every civilization and culture has its own rites and symbols which form the cornerstones of a collective existence, of material, intellectual and spiritual life. Every society adheres to its own rituals, its own way of inhabiting space and time, of living the sacred and the secular, its individual ways of eating and drinking, living and dressing, speaking, writing poetry, philosophising, making music, painting and being entertained. It is true that by living in the heart of a particular society, this purely ritual aspect of social organisation becomes habitual and is no longer questioned. The cultural becomes natural.

The origins of a particular practice, symbol or behavioural aspect can easily be forgotten or else they are never even learned. But the questions we no longer think to ask about our own culture, come flooding back when we look at another society or way of life.

The unknown and unfamiliar awaken our curiosity giving wings to the questioning process.”

(Marc-Alain Ouaknin, Symbols of Judaism, p7)