A God who heals in Darkness
arti kultura spiritwalita Is suffering the consequence of our sin or is it the only way for our purification? Is pain the reason for not letting go of our attachments or is it a reality for each and every one of us, which will ultimately lead us to spiritual maturity and to a deep knowledge of Godís love?

These are the inevitable questions we come face to face with, in our life, no matter how much we wish to avoid pain. Somehow it is in the letting go, in the acknowledgement of our sin, in the acceptance that we need a Saviour, that we can find the way out of our darkness. We do not choose the ëpainí in our lives, but we can ask God to meet us in our darkness, and it is only then that our healing starts, wherever we may be and no matter how dark our night is.

'Redemption in Suffering' is the title of the talks which Fr Joseph Tetlow, an Assistant to the General of the Jesuits at the orderís headquarters in Rome, will be giving on the 25th, 26th and 27th March, at the chapel in University.

These talks, which will be held in the University Chapel between 7.30pm and 8.30pm to mark Holy Week, are being organized by the University Chaplaincy.  This is part of the programme Arti - Kultura - Spiritwalita' with the theme A God who heals in darkness, being organized by the Precincts Office in collaboration with the Koperattiva Kulturali Univeristarja and sponsored by Bank of Valletta.

What happens when art and spirituality come together? How does this relationship effect the artist's freedom of expression? To which spirituality should this art aspire? The transcendental within us that goes beyond the steorotyped icons of religion or should it express the traditional beliefs inculcated in us, the ones we have been programmed to?

Arti Kultura Spiritwalita' is organized with the intention of integrating the need in each and every one of us to make sense of our lives, of the suffering we have to go through. It wants to integrate the search for our real self, for God, and the expression of this search through art, making possible the expression of art a spiritual experience and putting our experience of God in a cultural context.

The result is the Lenten talks by Fr Joseph Tetlow SJ at the University Chapel and an exhibition that weaves together different themes: the relationship between art and environment and the relationship between art and real suffering.

Planned to coincide with the Easter recess at the University of Malta, VIA brings together the works of artists Savio Deguara (b.1971) and Anton Grech (b.1965) in the circular interior of the university chapel.  Rather than choose works from the artists' repertoire, curator Raphael Vella invited them to produce new work based on Christ's narrative of suffering for a temporary show at the chapel.

Inspired by the theme of the VIA Crucis, Deguara and Grech are proposing to chapel visitors, two contemporary, yet different visions of suffering.  Deguara is showing a series of works on paper that imitate newspaper posters, with headlines reporting different moments from Christ's passion. Grech has focused on the Stabat Mater theme, famous for its musical associations, but treated here from a sculptor's perspective. Grech's work contrasts the suffering mother, presented as an abstract form in cast concrete, with a fragment of a plough, symbolizing her Son's cross.

The idea behind this exhibition is to invite viewers to see the works as extensions of the physical space.  The religious environment of the chapel (recently refurbished) is not a neutral gallery space but forms an integral part of the installation of Grech's and Deguara's works within the space.  In fact, the artists' works were produced with this space in mind.

The exhibition VIA will be open to the public between 24 March and 21 April 2002.

22 March 2002