Friday, 3 November 2017

Peacocks, more than meets the eye

A peacocks feather

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The work of artists in any medium has always intrigued and fascinated me. 

I studied art and art history at college, and although I paint I am certainly no master, yet with both brush and pen (keyboard now) I endeavour endlessly to express myself. Image result for brush and paintImage result for pen and notebook

When I moved to Molise last year I set out on a journey to discover more about the one hundred and thirty-eight towns and villages, 

I did not expect to develop an interest in SACRED ART. This has developed over time as I grown to love and admire the quality and splendour of the art in the churches here.Image result for oratino moliseboth inside and out
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The discovery of an art which enriches the beauty of the churches 

has encouraged me to study and research the subject in more depth.Image result for oratino molise

The principal method of spreading the word in Christianity 

and indeed in all religions has always been by word of mouth, but the desire to record and remind followers of the stories, and teachings meant that it was important too, to write them down, or retell them pictorially.Image result for sacred artImage result for sacred art

The symbolism of objects within the paintings is fascinating.

Each item in a painting carries a message, which evolved as a method of storytelling enabling those unable to read the written word to understand a subject in more depth.
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The significance of a peacock's feathers 

with its all-seeing eyes represent a pure soul and one that cannot be corrupted, and it  is seen as a symbol of immortality and the resurrection

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It does not matter what one believes even today when considering the impact art has on man.

We must look at it with open hearts and eyes ready to embrace its beauty, origins and it's character.

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Having travelled fairly extensively 

I have had the opportunity not only to marvel at the stone carvings and wall paintings in Egyptian temples but also at the simple drawings in South American villages. Art has always been a tool with which man can express himself. 

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This is where the value of the artist and the artisan became fundamentally important to the church. When we began to build churches and temples we needed people who had the talent to adorn the walls both inside and out with brush, paint, hammer, and chisel.

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In Italy.......

there are many churches of great importance in cities like Rome of course, richly adorned with frescoes, sculptures, and carvings,Image result for sistine chapel yet in the rolling hills, mountains and rich green valleys of Molise there is so much to admire.Image result for molise

 The Churches ........

Those of  the greatest significance here are not only those which house the most intensely beautiful art on the inside but those which make an impact because of their location or even their simplicity.
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Just a few miles from my home is the tiny chapel of Santa Guista just outside the village of Castelobottaccio. It sits perched on a hill virtually hidden amongst the trees. 
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It's simplicity, location and tranquillity hold the key to its spirituality. 

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In complete contrast, the Cathedral in Bojano is richly adorned with extraordinarily beautiful frescoes.
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These were only completed a few years ago by the Artist Rodolfo Papa, and it is rare for one single artist to paint a whole church.
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The frescoes are contemporary with their roots firmly planted in the firm ground of traditional sacred art. Rodolfo Papa has studied extensively both in theory and practice, making him one of the worlds foremost fresco artists working today.Image result for rodolfo papa bojano cathedralImage result for rodolfo papa bojano cathedralImage result for rodolfo papa bojano cathedral

I met with him at his studio in Rome, where he showed me his work. He spoke with such passion and is working hard to encourage other artists to continue the traditions of sacred art.Image result for rodolfo papa bojano cathedralImage result for rodolfo papa bojano cathedral
 For more information on his work see his website.

His knowledge and expertise in this field of art opened a new avenue for me, and I am working with him to encourage and develop opportunities for anyone interested in Sacred Art, and Church architecture to visit Molise. 

Although I have studied art and art history for many years I had not fully realised the significance of Sacred Art.

One of the joys of art is to understand what the artist wanted to portray when they put brushed wall or canvas with their brush, then to read it for yourself just like words on a page.

A painting or a sculpture tells a story, and we are richer for having read it if we understand the meaning of the words

Thank you, Professor Papa for opening my eyes.

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