Art as a Connection to the Divine in Women’s Lives: Cultural Wellbeing through Creative Process

By Karin Mackay.

Published by The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Art and the spiritual have an ancient connection; however, articulation of how the making of art can instigate a spiritual experience, influence artistic practice, and affect change in women’s lives has not been well articulated. This paper focuses on the way contemporary women use art in their search for deepened understanding of inner self, belonging, and as a way to connect to a “divine energy” that helps them cope with challenges and experience joy. Based on the analysis of sixty-three women’s artworks and stories from an art and spiritual festival and interviews with ten women artists, I articulate the complexities of the relationship between art making and the divine through women’s lived and embodied experiences of the art-making process. Through this research, I found that women in the process of making art experienced a connection with a divine energy that inspired their artworks, gave them a sense of connectedness, and was central to their sense of wellbeing.

Keywords: Cultural Wellbeing, Women, Divine, Art, Spirituality, Creative Process

The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts, Volume 8, Issue 2, August 2014, pp.1-13. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 952.958KB).

Dr. Karin Mackay

Lecturer, School of Education, Institute of Culture and Society, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia