As one of thousands of other contemporary female painters, I want to share my objective of bringing women into the light. As I am an icon painter, the only way I know to do this is by shedding light on women who have played a significant role in the Catholic church and who have been played down for centuries.
Women in the Catholic Church worldwide continue to seek a more meaningful role in the society and the formation of spiritual life. Despite evidence to indicate that Jesus strongly promoted the dignity and equality of women and that early Christians gave leadership roles to women, the influence of prevailing cultural norms has historically caused the role of Women in the Church to be diminished. Today when cultural bias against women has been overcome in part, Christian societies around the world maintain a male-dominated culture which often excludes women from preaching, teaching, ordination, and decision making within the church.
My latest book intends to highlight the entire issue in an effort to stimulate the debate openly in reference religious imagery and language. Byzantine style Icons are traditional images commemorating saints and represent many of the main line theological ideas within the Christian faith. The mystery they portray provokes the viewer through symbolic language in image and color. Yet where are the Women? The variety of original Byzantine style icons represented IN LIGHT OF WOMEN are meant to intrigue the viewer and his or her understanding of contemporary icons as well as what they aim to portray.
I ask that all contemporary female painters celebrate the women that have come before us. It is in our history that we become strong. I welcome your questions and conclusions after reading about the collection of beautiful images found in Mary Jane Miller’s latest book on Amazon In Light of Women. Art and Religion, Spirituality and Debate help us all to see our world better. BUY a copy on AMAZON