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Wisdom of God   Anne Wetzel, Curator    presented June 20, 2006



Female Mystics Rd. (Blues) ed

by Judith McManis
Cathedral Church of St. Paul - Burlington, VT

The experiences of Mystics have fascinated me for some time. Their insights seem to come in much the same way that SOME of my ideas for Liturgical Art come -- they just 'appear' and I have learned that my best response is to try to shut down other things going on at the time in order to be more fully present to what seems to be going on. Much like the creative process in general, the 'ideas' or images cannot be commanded to appear but are 'encouraged' by quiet, as well as meaningful conversation. Some images appear quite fully formed and need only to be drawn out or written down while others need to be 'encouraged' by many drawings and are sometimes a struggle to understand. Often just putting down what seems to be the main theme then leaving it alone for a while -- even over-night -- will bring much clarity.
All this has made me read about mystics from the past, to inquire into their lives and try to understand what they experienced. When I set out to do the accompanying pieces, two influences seemed to come together. First, I decided to use a Celtic Knot design because of it's nature of being fully connected to itself -- a never ending strand that could just as easily travel through time and space -- and minds -- as it travels over the page. I am also very attracted by the Celtic concept of 'thin time' -- those times when we are ever so close to God -- a hair's breadth away, it would seem, and understanding appears close at hand. Secondly, I wanted to include in my design the names of Female Mystics, many of whom were familiar. When I 'Googled' Female Mystics I was almost overwhelmed with the amount of material available! There is certainly MUCH more reading for me to do! I chose the names that I included mostly because of their familiarity to me -- and there was just so much space in these particular designs to fit them! Having completed these designs, I feel I am standing on the threshold of much more -- an exciting exploration yet to happen.


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2006 The Episcopal Church and Visual Art