About the Contemplative Prayer and Visual Art course
Two Masters of Wonder: Vilhelm Hammershøi and Marc Chagall
Paintings require sustained presence and yet unveil their depth only to those who do not rush to judgment but know how wait for them to speak to us on their own terms. Similarly, while involving a discipline of presence and attentiveness, growth in contemplative prayer depends on waiting for the invisible God to teach us the ways in which his presence in us and in the world can be perceived and acknowledged.
Hammershøi is known for the stillness of his subdued interiors and portraits; Chagall for his consummate understanding of colours and the deep emotional resonance of his dreamlike scenes. They seem worlds apart and yet both visualize the power of interiority especially when, as with Chagall, we attend to eros, suffering, and exile.
This day course will involve a mix of learning through the visual arts and practical sessions on contemplative prayer.
About the course leader
The Revd Luigi Gioia is a freelance writer and speaker in theology and spirituality and exercises his ministry at St Paul Knightsbridge, London. He gives talks, preaches retreats, leads workshops and study days, teaches courses as an invited lecturer in universities, theological colleges, parishes and a variety of institutions worldwide.
He is research associate of the Von Hügel Institute at the University of Cambridge.
Alongside his academic works, he has written several wide-audience books of spirituality. His first book on prayer, Say It To God: In Search Of Prayer was chosen as the Archbishop of Canterbury Lent Book for 2018.
His most recent book, The Wisdom of St Benedict: Monastic Spirituality and the Life of the Church won First Place in the Spirituality category in the 2021 Catholic Media Association (CMA) awards. His books have been translated in five languages.