Ignatian artist residency
Seven young adults from the Faber Community » participated in an artist residency in Sicily from 8 to 26 June 2022. Grounded in Ignatian spirituality, the community lived and worked together in the capital city of Palermo where they created poetry, music, art, prose and stories. All felt deeply inspired by communal living and sharing in each other’s creative projects.
The artist residency involved many facets to nourish each person’s creativity and to encourage collaboration. These included Ignatian prayer and reflections (e.g., Examen), creative coworking spaces, community dinners, evenings of creative sharing, visits to historic places (e.g., churches and temples), individual ‘artist dates’, visits to beaches, dramatic performances, and lots of fun.
Aoife was inspired by the community’s visits to historic places of Sicily. She says:
“As part of our time together in Sicily, we visited the Palatine Chapel in the Norman Palace in Palermo and we traveled to see the Cefalù Cathedral.
We spent some time looking at the art and talking about the spaces together and the idea of constructing sanctity.
It was incredible to see the Byzantine mosaics, in particular the early image of the Pantokrator in Cefalù – truly an emotive image of Christ.”
Another historic place of note was the Temple of Juno (pictured), an ancient Greek temple in Agrigento, Sicily, built around 450 BC. It was the only time during the trip where the community experienced a thunderstorm, and they can be seen afterwards at one with their environment!
Callum Douglas shares his experience of the artist residency. He says:
“To live and work in a community that intentionally honoured and nurtured the deepest gifts and desires of each member – that was an immense privilege and constant source of joy to me.”
Below Callum shares a poem which he composed in Sicily:
Or is he Franciscan?
Brown robes, small bag, calm scoot,
He flows past and we rise half in
Amusement half genuine affection.
Godspeed finds new form in our
Did he own his scooter or ride wild
Like we did?
One of the communists followed him,
Red flag hung from her bike,
And we remembered how little we know
Or comprehend yet in Palermo,
Where no man has ever ruled
And the drinks are the colour of blood.
Gavin Thomas Murphy is deeply thankful for the unique Sicilian experience. He says:
“Creatively, I wrote a children’s book on beauty and gratitude in collaboration with a Spanish woman. It was my first time writing for children but I tried to put my faith in Christ who makes all things new.
Now that we’re home, I’m focusing on editing the story while María works on the illustrations. It would be wonderful to have a final draft by Christmas!
Personally, I was delighted to grow in familiarity with the Faber Community and I sensed that we were able to soften into each other’s company in a prayerful way. I look forward to continue sharing in our creative expressions.”