Michelle Tappin Davis is the President of the Women in Art Organisation of Trinidad and Tobago, a wife, a mother,a teacher at Hillview college, a parishioner of St Finbars and a catholic woman committed to using her art to tell her faith story.
“I want to do more religious pieces that tell a story”. She believes that the faith story often feels skewed “ Because the story tellers are not artists the artists usually depicts the story from their world view” She also says that the reason people point fingers about historic biblical depictions is often because the storytellers have not been artists.
When asked about the relationship between her faith and her art, she says,”I believe that Artists have a super power and what they create can become a reality, it is a special gift most know it instinctively but some never consciously tap into the gift “ Michelle also shared that because of this fundamental belief, she is careful about what she creates. “What you create visually can become reality so I am very careful about never creating negative images in my work”.
“My current work reflects the beauty of nature and the human form. I am always in awe of the beauty of nature and the grandeur of God”. She also confesses that presently on a journey of a deeper spiritual awakening to which she believes her art is the pathway.
Today Michelle shares with us a piece called Kawleeya which was painted during a live performance by Nalini Akal, of a middle eastern village dance.
Visio Divina (Latin for “divine seeing”) is a method for praying with images. Through Visio Divina we invite you to see beyond first and second impressions, and even beyond your initial ideas, judgments, or understandings. Our hope is to create a connection to the divine through local art.
So here is how we are going to do it.
● Set aside 15 minutes in the day for the guided prayer experience
● As you begin to pray take a few minutes to open your heart and mind to God.
● When you are ready, slowly look and notice the image, taking your time to let feelings and thoughts come to you as you take in forms, figures, colors, lines, textures, and shapes. What does it look like, or remind you of? What are your initial thoughts? What feelings are evoked?
● Now, return to the image with an open heart and mind again. You may now experience new thoughts, meanings, and feelings. Start, exploring new meanings and feelings that come to you associated with the image. Be aware of any
assumptions or expectations that you bring to the image. Regardless of your response to the image — delight, disgust, indifference, and confusion — contemplate prayerfully the reason for your response and what these responses might mean for and about you.
● As you go deeper in this prayer, open yourself to what the image might reveal to you. What does the Spirit want to say, evoke, make known, or express to you in quiet meditation? What are your feelings, thoughts, desires, and meanings evoked by the image, and how they are directly connected to your life?
● Now, take the time to respond to God. Jot down in a journal the insights you want to remember, actions you are invited to take, the wisdom you hope to embody, or any feelings or thoughts you wish to express. Bring your prayer to a close-by resting in God’s grace and love.