SaraNoa Mark, Prayer for Rain (detail), photo: Robert Wedemeyer

landscapes and inscapes: a pilgrimage through art

with Dr. Kathryn Barush
Online Event
Thursday, October 14, 2021
6:00 pm –  7:30 pm

From the earliest centuries to today, humans have mapped one sacred landscape onto another to engender an experience of closeness to their ancestors, to their homeland, or to the divine. It is a practice that crosses cultures and time – from the Jain mandalas linked to far-away Mount Meeru to seven-circuit labyrinths in turf and stone. Such kinetic, synesthetic, and haptic artistic expressions have taken on a particular urgency in this time of pandemic as travel was curtailed and loved ones were far out of reach. This talk will explore the idea of installation art as an embodied experience of pilgrimage that helps foster a sense of connection and communitas.

Dr. Kathryn Barush is Associate Professor of Art History and Religion at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA. She holds a D.Phil. and M.St. in the history of art and visual culture from the University of Oxford and a BA from Sarah Lawrence College. She came to Berkeley via Washington, DC where she was a postdoctoral research associate at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art. Kate’s work has appeared in journals such as Apollo, the Brooklyn Rail, and Practical Matters. Her second book, Imaging Pilgrimage: Art as Embodied Experience, will be published by Bloomsbury in August 2021. It has been endorsed as ‘a vivid and vital evocation of the visual cultures of contemporary pilgrimage – the place of pilgrim frame of mind in current art production and the ways contemporary art itself enables and develops the pilgrimage process in the modern world.’ (Jas Elsner, University of Chicago). When not writing about art she can often be found out on the trail, often with her two small children (the littlest pilgrims!) in tow.