Working on the Auburn Crucifix, Tom Bass Sculpture School, 1996

Working on the Auburn Crucifix, Tom Bass Sculpture School, 1996

Catholics today, by and large, appreciate the value of faith. Most still educate their children by it and organise all major hatches matches and dispatches around it. However, few actually practice their faith: attend mass, pray regularly, attend confession...etc. This is largely due to the fact that many today struggle with how to connect to faith.

To better understand how perhaps it might be better to consider faith not as something you have but something you do. The word faith comes from he Latin fidere: to trust. Rather than being just an outcome of religion, faith can be seen as a process of connectivity, connecting ideas together through trust.

We are reminded of this challenge to connect every time we start a prayer and invoke the Trinity. Here we have the coming together of three main ideas: the father, God projected in Heaven, the Son: God reflected on earth and the Holy Spirt: God as is understood and expressed through the self, breathed in and out through human consciousness (spirit coming from the Latin Spīrāre, to breath). On a simpler level this is a connection between what is seen, what is made and what is felt, connected as a symbol of one.

A practical way of understanding this sacred union (or com- Union) is through the humble act of drawing. Drawing takes what we see, say the shape of an apple, connects this to what we make, a corresponding drawing of this shape, and then combines this experience with what we feel, our perception and conception of an apple.

Drawing an apple may not seem sacred but the creative process involved does provide the same principles of connection that turns the internal mechanism of faith. Perhaps this is why my old teacher used to repeatedly say of drawing, "Don't make it look the way it looks, make it work the way it works", faith and drawing seeming to work along the same lines.

However, while drawing may illustrate the form of faith, faith holds up the candle that illuminates the sacred potential of drawing. For while a drawing may be generated and pushed forward by the cogs of seeing, making and feeling, it is only faith that can provide the leap of insight, that illuminates the whole process into a cohesive vision, allowing us to ultimately let go of what we see, make and feel and let shine a bright new idea. 

To find out more check out the audio file below...