Art was once the handmaiden of religion, culture and philosophy. It offered the viewer an enlarged vision and spiritual stimulation. The role of art was to depict the sacred and to assist man to ‘see’ the spirit and was valued as a developing force within man. The function of art was to free the spirit of the beholder and invigorate and enlarge his or her vision.
Ever since I was young, I have had a great interest in the spiritual life of man rather than the mundane world of things. As a child I would often contemplate the idea of existence, of the source of all life, the soul of man and of imagined worlds beyond ours. I was fascinated with philosophy, wisdom and spiritual traditions across the globe. I was intrigued by the symbolism within the artwork that assisted in communicating these teachings. It was a fascinating study to observe how artistic imagery traveled the globe as religion and philosophy spread. What I loved most of all as a child was to notice that in many cultural traditions, that the artist was considered a highly spiritual member of society and would often work closely with the priests, shamans, lamas or holy-men in order to visually translate spiritual concepts to the wider community.
‘To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts, such is the role of the artist’, Schuman