Object 2: My painting of a Church
June 1, 2021
I painted this church in Yorkshire when I was 12. Since, I learned that churches around the world are built aligned east-west (Winnert, 2013). Looking at a satellite image of this church, at noon – when the image was taken – the shadows were straight as the sun was towards the south. I established that this church was built aligned east-west as evident from the shadows I painted.
This object enhances this exhibition as it illustrates how religious knowledge can be less open to interpretation due to conceptual religious justifications being objective facts. Christian churches hold architectural and liturgical principals. Evidence confirms that prayer rooms have the cross depicted on the east wall. This knowledge is crucial, as Christianity holds importance in facing eastward for prayer, influenced by the pagan practice of praying towards the rising sun (Haffner, 2008). Knowing this now, the detail of the Church built east-west in the painting is an objective belief from the teachings of God. These justified reasonings of architecture from documented literature are facts rather than art, which is open to interpretation. Additionally, religious knowledge needs to be treated sensitively, therefore making this object less open for interpretation.
This painting is particularly interesting for this exhibition, as religious knowledge was subconsciously presented to me, meaning I could link it to visual aspects of the painting, allowing for more interpretation. Considering I was unaware, raw facts of the painting are now replenished with the new knowledge I have now. Now, certain details interest me as I link what I perceive and know. The design and placement of the Church portrays that during prayer, the Church is enlightened by sunrays. When I was painting the Church, I wouldn’t have interpreted the positioning as praying towards light. Knowledge is grounded by personal experiences, so combining the religious context with the visual features of this object, it has allowed me to further interpret the details of religion through light and architecture.