Sacred scriptures, hymns, myths, holy personages, rituals and the religious traditions to which they belong are among the many influences inspiring artistic expression. Altered Religious Texts explores the ways in which artists use the very pages of inspiring texts as the “canvas” for their work.
Religious texts altered by human hands, including coloring, cutting, and adornment, result in objects with fascinating painting and sculptural presence. The hand of Nature may also alter texts, essentially transforming them into “found objects,” which when presented by artists, are imbued with symbolic and implicative presence. Texts so altered frequently embody issues of re-appraisal, rejection, re-appropriation, or renewal apropos the artist’s formative religious tradition and training.
Altered Religious Texts will feature the works of four contemporary artists: Mary Button’s “Hymnbook Project;” Dean Ebben’s “Crescendo;” Miriam Schaer’s “Hands of Josephus I” and “Words of God Slip through My Hands;” and Terri Garland’s “Katrina Bibles and Prayer Books.”
The dynamics of re-appraisal, rejection, re-appropriation, and renewal informed the Reformation and Counter-Reformation and form the background of the work in MOBIA’s main Summer exhibition, Scripture for the Eyes: Bible Illustration in Netherlandish Prints of the Sixteenth Century.