Bright and early on a Sunday morning, with only the mildest assistance of caffienated drinks, Marta and Miki (of Spirituality in Motion) and Holly Jones (of 3FF) were interviewed on BBC London radio.
Explaining the Urban Dialogues exhibition and collaboration process with Dotun Adebayo, Marta described how she had “found her tribe” and Miki admitted that the team is out to change the world. Good stuff.
[left to right:] Miki, Holly Jones (3FF), Dotun Adebayo (BBC), Marta
Some of the work created for Spirituality in Motion, with our commentary beneath.
An instruction manual for the main ritualistic movement associated with Catholic instruction. It can be used to express devotion, but also utter shock, disbelief, desperation and many other extreme emotions.
I was taken with the clever juxtaposition of iconography and DIY in Marta’s piece. It reminded me how religious practice can sometimes feel formulaic, as if to suggest that simply going through the motions is sufficient to attain spiritual heights. The sequence of fingertip touches brought to mind the Jewish tradition of kissing the mezuzah. I sought a visual language that would parallel Marta’s piece – something from the present day to reflect on an ancient rite. At the time of creating this image, London was enraptured by the Paralympics. While I was delving into the minutia of ritual motions, everyone around me was witnessing human physicality at its limits. So I wondered what it might look like to re-imagine a sacred practice as an athletic, competitive one.
I ended my final piece and third stage of this collaboration with a very personal image that reflects lifetime challenges in one’s profession with a spiritual connection, which I could interpret in Miki’s work.
Responses to the work!
…here’s our project introduction:
Our collaboration explores ways in which spirituality is expressed or experienced through physical movement. We are three artists from three different faith backgrounds (Islam, Christianity and Judaism) who had never worked together prior to this project. In our initial discussions we were intrigued by the similarity of movement rituals among our different belief systems. We were also interested in looking beyond activities of religious origin, to note the connections with everyday human habits. To facilitate the collaboration and draw out these parallels, we devised a process we call “Cyclical Collaboration” which works as follows. Each of us creates an artwork based on a movement that has a spiritual value for us, possibly drawing on our religious background. The work is passed on to the next project member, who responds with a new or adapted piece that adds in their own layer of understanding and interpretation. This process is repeated again, so each of us has either created or transformed all three original pieces.
The purpose of our piece is to shine the spotlight on these rituals, to see how these movements help us establish a spiritual connection within us, beyond us and with others. Our work is an invitation for self-reflection: What ritual movements do we engage with? In what ways are they spiritual to us? Looking outwards, in what way are these ritual motions similar to those of other religions or our everyday habits? What parallels can we draw between them?
The Urban Dialogues exhibtion is now open! It’s at London’s Red Gallery near Old Street.
The opening night on Tuesday was really inspiring. After a quick group toast to celebrate getting our own display finished we were able to enjoy all the fabulous work in the surrounding spaces, including a stunning tapestry, a “tri faith” architectural project, and the intricate installation “unkept”, to mention a few.