Tigress I, II, III
Oil on canvas
15 x 18.5 cm
I have been noticing how often artworks, artists, or exhibitions are described as ‘visionary.’ What does this mean? What does this mean today? Why do people use it so frequently in art?
What better way to discuss this than to invite seven artists (Leslie de Chavez, Bree Jonson, Michael J. Muñoz, and Bernardo Pacquing from the Philippines; Maria Chevska, Isolde Godfrey, and Estelle Thompson from England) to show work that may be seen as ‘visionary’ and also to ask them what they feel this word ‘visionary’ might mean.
I also invited a dead artist, a German artist who, around 1480, made a hand-coloured woodcut of an image of the Virgin Mary with seven swords: a more literal and un-kitschy presentation of the sacred heart than one sees now. He, or she, knew what a vision was: just go to the bible, or to mystical writings.
But what is visionary now? Alternative worlds, or something only abstraction can hint at, or the transformation of everyday life?
My conversations with these seven artists about what is visionary will be included in the catalogue, which will be presented as a video at the exhibition.
Words by Tony Godfrey