Art, religion, and spirituality are deeply intertwined. For thousands of years artistic production was concentrated in manufacturing houses of worship and objects for religious devotion. Many of these forms were believed to hold enormous power; some housed remnants of holy materials (such as human body parts), some were utilized in ritual practice, and a few were believed to contain the energy of saints, souls, or god(s). In the mid-nineteenth century, artists began exploring non-religious themes and, eventually, the importance of religion in art waned. Although art from the last two hundred years appears to lack a strong religious viewpoint, it would be incorrect to assume that it no longer possesses any spiritual significance.
As we enter into the second decade of the twenty-first century, the influence of Christianity has diminished and, as a whole, Westerners have become more accepting of alternative spiritual customs. The availability of information and the freedom of expression permitted in our society have allowed us access to a myriad of faiths; in turn, our lack of restrictions has led to blend together and formulate new convictions. Similarly, the rate in which we receive and process information, particularly via advanced technology, has effected how we view god and religion. WHO’S YR SHAMAN? is a group exhibition featuring artists who take inspiration from unorthodox belief systems. Their production is a continuation in the history of mystical practice in art and, like their predecessors, they are responding to the climate of their contemporary world. The common thread which binds these seven individuals is their deep admiration and engagement in magic. It is a vital part of each of their creative processes and, as a result, transfers a numinous power into their final conceptions.