Tourya Othman engaged herself on a spiritual journey through the primitive religious dimension of images, where the sacred and the corporeal get in contact. The Belgian artist set up an artistic research leading back to the historical origins of divine depictions, after which her latest “Idols and Icons” series was originated. Symbols’ power resides in the universal language they speak, able to communicate beyond any social, cultural, theological different background; exploring the role and the influence devotional images hold within Faith’s horizon, Othman’s displayed oils on canvas gained the capacity to honestly reach most human souls, touching the common chords of belief.
The artworks revolve around the presence of a perpetual struggle between the livings and their complete unknowing of the Great Beyond. The use of conventional representations, such as icons, witness the efforts attempted to establish a connection between these two independent, yet complementary, worlds. This questioning, this supernatural investigation drives to a natural meditation about death, mortality and the afterlife, calling upon a mystical compliance to Creed’s mysteries and unveiled truths.
The artist tuned to the voice of her spiritual needs and wonderings and reached a state of peacefulness and firmness, instilled in the auras of her paintings: blue lighted halos to recall a “noble spiritual devotion”, out of unseen presences our senses still recognize; upward glances, humanely and humbly asking for answers. A realistic rendering on neutral backgrounds, to focus on the outlines on the foreground and their mystical potential.
A disillusioning quest run through Idols and Icons, concentrated on their religious ascendancy but eventually coming to terms with human limits and powerlessness.
“Our soul is infected with the despair born of unbelief, of lack of purpose and aim. The nightmare of materialism, which turned life into an evil, senseless game, is not yet passed; it still darkens the awakening soul. Only a feeble light glimmers, a tiny point in the immense circle of darkness. This light is but a presentiment;
– VASSILY KANDINSKY, Concerning the Spiritual in Art.
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