The art of spirituality
Introducing The Spiritual Arts Foundation, a new UK arts organisation dedicated to
promoting spirituality through the arts
A picture is worth a thousand words. If you appreciate the imagery with this article, or if it resonates with you in any way, then be thankful for the fine work of two talented artists, Marie Eitz and Nicky Helm.
The pair are just a small part of a much larger network of spiritual creatives now being pooled together under the newly-formed, The Spiritual Arts Foundation. It's a UK-based arts organisation dedicated to promoting spirituality through the arts, and includes not only visual arts, and includes not only visual artists, but also filmmakers, musicians, writers and many other creatives.
The Foundation, launched at the end of 2022, has five main categories: Art, Music, Film, Theatre and Literature. Within each, there is abundant talent with artists, composers, producers, and poets who create spiritually significant productions across a broad array of media.
"Spirituality has always been present in the arts," says the Foundation's creator, Clifford White, a music composer, producer and filmmaker.
To acknowledge this, one only needs to glance at a few of the works of William Blake, Hilma af Klimt, Wassily Kandinsky or Vincent Van Gogh. Or hear a few bars of the music of Claude Debussy, Vivaldi or Vangelis. Or marvel at the wealth of books published by Hay House, Watkins Books and other established publishers. Perhaps your mind has wandered to the ethereal tones of Enya, or been beguiled by the hypnotic sound of Tubular Bells? Or perhaps you felt something mysterious and magical move through you when you watched the film 'What Dreams May Come', or the classic 'Heaven Can Wait'?
"Spirituality has been all around us in the arts for hundreds of years, yet many might prefer to pretend that it doesn't exist at all. To my knowledge, the art world has never formally acknowledged spirituality as an art movement in its own right, and there are no organisations or associations I am aware of that properly represent it. It's astonishing to me that something like this has never been created before, but my personal mission is to ensure that spirituality is represented – hence The Spiritual Arts Foundation."
The new organisation will help to raise awareness of all thing spirituality as well as showcase some of the best creative talent working across this broad spectrum of creative areas.
"The initiative brings spirituality and the arts together, both online and in person, with a series of UK events and exhibitions planned over the next few years. Promoting the arts from a spiritual perspective will allow us to reach a new audience – one that is both hungry for greater knowledge and awareness, yet at the same time, this project shows the potential to stimulate the creative producers."
On the Foundation's website you'll find content and articles across the five main categories featuring artists, musicians, composers, producers, filmmakers and writers who all create spiritually significant productions – in other words, products or productions that feature an aspect of spirituality at their core. In addition, there's also a 'Creator's Shops' area featuring products from members, with links to Amazon and Etsy if available, as well as a mail order service to assist artists not yet available on other online market platforms.
Another key aspect of the Foundation will be a 'Spiritual Arts Exhibition', set for later this year (see website for up-to-date information). This will be held at a venue in London and will feature short film screenings, with the directors talking about their films and taking Q&A sessions, a main hall with exhibitors selling arts and crafts, an exhibition display featuring original artworks, talks from artists and musicians and producers. There will also be separate rooms featuring art and music workshops, drumming and chanting workshops and a makeshift music studio running recording sessions during the day.
There are plans for a series of workshops and courses, which will be designed to encourage and stimulate the artistry in everyone. White says these will appeal to all those who are seeking to enhance their creative abilities, with workshops covering areas such as spiritual art classes, music production, writing classes and more.
He says the aim is to leave no stone unturned when it comes to unearthing the great spiritual artistic talent that exists in the UK. Indeed, the ambitious concept came about following the success of a number of other smaller online initiatives, including the Spiritual Creatives Meetup group, which boasts over 500 members (meetup.com/spiritualcreatives) and the Spirit Songs singer-songwriter website (spiritsongs.co.uk).
Ultimately, there is also a hope that it will help more people to embrace their own connection to spirituality, in whatever form that might take.
"Although some might not wish to admit it, the subject of spirituality crosses all religious borders. While the specific tenets, practices and beliefs of faith differ, all religions generally agree that the meaning of spirituality is the same: a connection with the divine."
This essentially means that The Spiritual Arts Foundation is able to represent all religions, he says, calling it a platform where all religions may have a voice in harmony.
"We sincerely hope to foster this opportunity: in time to welcome creative producers of all religious persuasions, and to encourage tolerance, discussion, and perhaps even collaboration. There can be no greater goal than that."
To find out more about The Spiritual Arts Foundation, visit: spiritualarts.org.uk
Featured art - Nicky Helm: facebook.com/healingangelart; Marie Eitz: magicalalchemy.co.uk
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