Mixed Media 40 Stones in the wall: An inclusive exhibition?

40 Stones in the wall: An inclusive exhibition?

After a long day of wandering through a number of the Festival exhibitions, I found myself on High Street at an exhibition that I’m not sure most people were aware of. Located in a room that sits just before the infamous Long Table, the Cory Room was host to the 40 Stones in the Wall exhibition.

The Exhibit, which is in its second year, is not what it seems at first. Located in a small and intimate space, it invites the audience members to be part of the creation process.

The exhibition is comprised of various artworks by a number of people that draw on their interpretations of Christianity, faith and love as inspiration for their artwork.

While this may sound “preachy” for some, the exhibition made a good attempt to sway away from the stereotype. It is not implicit that the exhibition is based on Christianity, and it’s only while walking through and reading the different artists interpretations of what god and love mean to them that you realise this is what the exhibition is about.

Curator Eben Lochner said, “The idea of the wall signifies the way in which the artists challenge perceptions of god, who is often seen as a rigid wall of laws, as well the hope to build something new. On the hand, the number forty also holds Biblical significance of transformation and transition for how the artists have engaged with issues of changing perspectives of  how people relate to God”.

I found  there could be room for more discussion. I asked the curator if and when they would open the space up to include other religions, as well as how the selection process of artists was made.

“I have had to turn down a few artists I thought were a bit too controversial for this space. We want it to be a safe, inclusive space, but maybe in future that could be something we look into,” said Lochner.

I found the use of the word inclusive a bit ironic, as I think using spaces like this should generate discussion around topics like religion are which often controversial to begin with, however I understood how this might deter from the point the exhibition was trying to make.

By having impromptu sketching and painting sessions, the artists hoped to stimulate conversation and sometimes participation between themselves and the audience members.

Take a virtual tour of the gallery below to see some of the artworks that were created throughout the course of the exhibition as well as the ones on display.

Amanda Murimba

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