SACRED ART FOR A SECULAR AGE
Launching at St Martin-in-the-Fields Trafalgar Square on the 17th September 2018 Encounters is presented by artist Nicola Green in collaboration with King’s College London, Cambridge University and The Coexist Foundation.
Encounters - an exhibition of over 50 portraits of the world’s global faith figures - is accompanied by an academic book Encounters: The Art of Interfaith Dialogue. The exhibition is also supported by the St Martin-in-the Fields Autumn Lecture Series.
Encounters challenges the polarisation of the sacred and society in a secular age. It is a visual exploration of difference - how do people of different beliefs, or none, communicate and reconcile their strongly held opposing views? Nicola Green invites the viewer to think about relationships to those we consider wholly ‘other’ to ourselves, and how this in turn shapes our own identity.
Sitters include: Pope Francis, The Dalai Lama, emeritus Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Desmond Tutu, and former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan WillIams. This is the first time an artist has depicted the world’s major religions in one space, and of equal status. Green invites viewers to encounter Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Zoroastrian, Sikh, Baha’i, Jain, African, Confucian, Humanist, and Shinto leaders together in a shared space.
Green is an artist and visual social historian. She seeks out some of the most important human stories around the world, as they are happening, and records them visually, committed to her role as a ‘witness’ in our turbulent and constantly changing world. Green explores themes of identity, race, faith, power, gender and leadership. Her approach has enabled her to gain access to iconic figures from the worlds of religion, politics, and culture.
She gained critical acclaim for her work In Seven Days… a series of seven large-scale silkscreen prints produced after gaining unprecedented artistic access to Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. This work was described by The Metropolitan Museum of Art as ‘an artistic and historic masterpiece’.
Green co-founded the Diaspora Platform, an initiative designed to deliver mentoring and professional development for emerging artists and curators from racially and culturally diverse backgrounds. This culminated in the Diaspora Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale 2017.