Arts Thought of the Day

Thinking Day

Contemplation through cameras.

“World Thinking Day” is an international event started by the girl guides and recognised by the scouts too.

You can read more about it here

Quartz has worked with Stephen Ross before to capture the light reflected from mirrors in one of our Christmas installations. The pictures in this post comes from an artistic exploration of the theme “Ecclesiastical” for the camera club he is a member of.

While we were working on the photos we discussed prayer and contemplation. I mentioned that using a camera could be described as a contemplative act. The photographer reflects on beauty when they frame a shot. They contemplate truth when they adjust the settings or combine images to produce a work of art. Most wouldn’t associate this with religion of course! But how far from the realm of God is time spent contemplating beauty and truth?

In Matthew 6 vs 6 Jesus tells people that they should go into a hidden room when they pray. The word in the latin vulgate for this room is “cubiculum” which is also one of the words used for the early camera obscuras, before camera became the usual one.

By using a camera, perhaps you can pray in plain sight. You could use the ‘small room’ in the phone you hold in your hand to frame a shot to you lament the state of a communtiy where holes in the road lie unrepaired, or praise God for brother sun and sister rain working together to paint a rainbow. An act so ordinary that, like adding salt to your meal, it can become invisible until you stop to take time to practice the #SensingSpirituality of it.

Photo by Stephen Ross

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