We live in a time of flux. Artists are now forging their ideas and practice in societies which are driven by rapid globalisation, volatile socio-economic conditions and extreme points of view. Increased mobility for people and high-speed information exchange has brought an unprecedented variety of beliefs and cultures into proximity and often conflict. In such a world, complicated negotiations face individuals, organisations, faiths and nations in which the meaning and influence of art is consistently re-examined.
Creativity might offer us something of value amidst such tensions, and creative reflection is a fundamental practice in many religious and cultural expressions. However, an act of creativity could also be seen as heretical, revolutionary or dangerously insightful!
This Difference Exchange project involves five international research placements, completed in January 2011. The selected artists explored the relationship they have with their own religious background through the prism of their own practice in places of worship and communities which differed substantially from their own faith up-bringing. The resultant work was discussed in a recent seminar hosted by Arts Council England.