This video art work by artist and priest Regan O'Callaghan explores the edges of faith and the liminal space between the holy and the mundane in response to 2 Peter 2:18-21.
Artist Curated by
2 Peter 2:18–21
18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. 19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. 20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it , to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
The scripture from 2 Peter is a reminder to be aware of false teachers. Their words are a façade.
As a priest in the Church of England I am aware of the power of spoken words. They can build up or break down, enlighten or deceive or simply bore and fall onto stony ground. As an artist I am thankful there is another way to explore the indescribable mysteries of faith, a creative alternative to verbal expressions and proclamations.
As an outward sign some priests wear the clerical collar, which is meant to denote their role and their responsibility in sharing the Word of God. But it is also just a strip of cheap plastic which when worn to tightly restricts and suffocates not only the wearer but also the listener. But wonderfully in the midst of religious grandstanding and performance, sometimes the living word can be seen, heard and experienced in the mundane, simple events of every day life.
Regan O’Callaghan is an artist who lives in London, England. Originally from New Zealand he moved to the United Kingdom in 1993 where he studied art and religious studies including the technique of icon painting. In 2001 Regan was ordained into the Church of England. He combines his religious ministry with art leading many art projects and workshops as well as painting a number of commissions including an icon for Saint Paul’s Cathedral London. He believes in a ministry of encouragement where art is the facilitator.
"The nature of my practice is based on the application of contemporary and traditional techniques and the morphing of different religious themes and symbols in painting, installations and video. All my work explores ideas of ritual, the sacred and profane with the intention of drawing the viewer into challenging realms of order and chaos, apophatic and cataphatic, light and dark."