By Camilla Schick
From Common Ground News Service
London – Camilla Howalt, Mohamed Negm, and Orly Orbach’s art piece Thresholds is an inspiring reflection on the nature of faith in the contemporary world. Together the artists represented the three Abrahamic faiths through an abstract, dream-like triptych depicting the thresholds at the doorways of houses of worship as spaces of risk and uncertainty, requiring a prayer or a blessing before entering.
For the UK’s National Interfaith Week from 20-26 November, the Three Faiths Forum (3FF), one of the country’s leading interfaith organisations, invited the public to celebrate the artistic results of its experimental Urban Dialogues programme in London.
The art competition, now in its second year, fosters collaboration between artists of different belief backgrounds, enabling them to use their work as a means of promoting closer understanding and cooperation between communities.
This year’s competition brought together 34 artists of different beliefs to work and exhibit their paintings and installations, creating an interfaith dialogue which wouldn’t otherwise be experienced in single-faith art spaces.
3FF Director Stephen Shashoua says, “One of the aims of Urban Dialogues is to highlight the work of individual artists from our communities and create a space within the urban environment where we can speak about different faiths, beliefs and ideas, with this work creating stimulus for discussion.”
Thresholds is one of the winning collaborations that was displayed at the Red Gallery in East London’s Shoreditch area.
The artists visited religious spaces they confessed they might not have otherwise explored in more depth, including the East London Mosque, the Bevis Marks Synagogue and St Ethelburga’s Centre.