• Sagrada Família Barcelona

    Sagrada Família Barcelona

    Work on the Sagrada Família started in 1882 using the conventional neo-Gothic designs of Francisco de Paula del Villar. The work was handed over to Antoni Gaudí who worked on it for the next 4 decades.

    This is a truly awe inspiring temple and inspired by a deep seated faith. With its impossibly tall columns representing trees and arches for branches, the interior is a sort of homage to the natural world.

    The organic and natural curvature of the arches and stone work is a hallmark of Gaudí’s architectural style. While we revel in Gaudí’s indomitable signature curves and shapes, we forget that in order or achieve them, he was an accomplished structural engineer. The imposing mosaic stained glass windows are typical of the exuberant flashes of colour seen in much of his architecture. Natural light pours in and is diffused over the light coloured stonework.

    Sagrada Família is not a cathedral though it was elevated to the status of a “minor basilica” when Pope Benedict XVI consecrated the unfinished church in 2010. Today, although still in construction after 133 years, it attracts three million visitors annually. It is scheduled for completion in 2026, to celebrate the centennial of the architect’s death.

  • Depicting Hindu Mythology

    Depicting Hindu Mythology

    I recently bought a book called The Little Book of Hindu Deities by Sanjay Patel, Pixar animator and illustrator. Originally intended for my son aged 5, I found I was drawn to it probably more than he was. The illustrations of gods, demigods, avatars and Hindu symbols are exquisite, child-like and imbue a sense of wonderment. I like the predominant use of flat block colours and the rigid, sharp shapes that give the characters a striking pose. Demonic or benevolent, it’s the eyes that lend the figures their emotion.

    Following the success of his first book Sanjay has subsequently published; Ramayana (Divine Loophole), ‘a graphic retelling of more than 100 vibrant illustrations and sketches of a cast of characters – demons, gods, animals and humans’ of an epic Hindu story. His visual style is reminiscent of The Pink Panther cartoon title sequences and more recently The Incredibles title sequence, incidentally, a Pixar production!

    Credit: Ramayana: Divine Loophole by Sanjay Patel, published by Chronicle Books.

    Find out more


    February 8, 2011 By admin Art Books Culture Design Inspiration Religion
  • Mark Rathinaraj – Artist

    Mark Rathinaraj – Artist

    Mark Rathinaraj was born at T. Palur, a village near the temple town of Kumbakonam and now  based in Chennai. I first met Mark whilst I was holidaying in South India with my family in 2009. He was an acquaintance of my father in law, who I suppose could be regarded as one of many admirers of Marks work and a long standing well-wisher. We visited his studios in Chennai and he showed us his ample portfolio of work.

    The style

    Mark has a very distinctive style, bringing his subjects to life with his trademark strong black outlines against brown rustic backdrops and sweeping strokes. His themes primarily focus on Indian dance and culture and everything about his work shows fluidity and movement. His works are lauded for their energy and vibrancy but despite his energetic technique, they also seem to imbue a sense of contemplation. Whether it’s dance or yoga much of his work involves the portrayal of people. The ability to capture movement is about “getting the basic skeletal anatomy right” in his own words. One of his major influences is another Indian born artist, K.K. Hebbar. It’s easy to see how much of the powerful lines from his work have pervaded Marks’ approach to his own art.

    If you want to see more visit: http://www.online-paintings.com/ Here are some examples of Marks’ work:

    June 17, 2010 By admin Art Culture Inspiration Religion Travel
  • Evolution Versus God?

    I was watching The Genius of Charles Darwin on Channel 4 recently, presented by Prof. Richard Dawkins. His position has always been that the theory of evolution as postulated by Darwin all those years ago, proves that God simply doesn’t exist. The evidence for evolution is insurmountable and this is the reason why Dawkins himself does not believe in God.

    I can’t help but feel that his premise is a little skewed and that his derision of God is baseless. I am not religious and fully accept that religious doctrine is incompatible, if not entirely at odds with the theory of evolution. But is that enough to stop believing in God? After all, isn’t religious doctrine by it’s very definition; principles that are taught or advocated as part of a faith system? Something that was declared The Word of God, in all it’s indoctrinated glory, by the word of man? What has religion got to do with God? Well that’s another debate, but I put the question forward to highlight the flaw I see in Dawkins argument. He uses religion to deride the existence of God, as if he accepts that the religious sphere is the only forum that has any rights to God.

    What an absurd position. I agree with many of his arguments that religion doesn’t accurately describe our physical world, after all, the Earth is more than four thousand years old, it clearly wasn’t made in six days,  it is not flat and it is not at the center of the universe. We have evidence of this (Creationists)! These facts should have no bearing on the question of God’s existence. By citing religious texts to enforce our own scientific beliefs we inadvertently give them more credence than they truly deserve. By the way, I’m not deriding religion either. Whilst I think much of it is untrue and does not lead the way to God, there are aspects I think that are worthy of our attention and dare I say it, even reverence.

    My argument is that material science cannot prove or disprove the existence of God. Material science describes the physical world, ‘spiritual science’ does not! It’s analogous to an astronomer postulating theories regarding the cure for cancer! He or she is not in a position to do that (not through a telescope anyway) – they’re two entirely separate fields of study. Material science describes the ‘how’ and the ‘when’ and the ‘what’. It can never lay claim to knowing the ‘why’. We know the universe has a law governing it as Einstein predicted. We know it is expanding, we know it is unfolding, we know it is evolving and we know there is an energy that enables it to do so. Under what or who’s energy? Dawkins, as a scientist and thinker, does himself a disservice for utterly disregarding this question as part of his natural thought processes. Instead he makes bold assertions based on a questionable premise to begin with and tries to convince us of his way of thinking. His argument is based on the false premise that God can only exist within the confines of a religious framework. As for Darwin, I submit the following excerpt from the Telegraph:

    Darwin never formally renounced the concept of God. “It’s easy to make Darwin out to be like Richard Dawkins, and to see Darwin as an acid that eats through our belief and faith, but Darwin didn’t see it like that,” says James A Secord, Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge, and Director of the Darwin Project . . .

    “He doesn’t believe Christ has come to save us. But he does think the reason we understand the laws of nature is because there is some sort of way the universe operates, and there is some sort of creator.”

    Telegraph excerpt: Charles Darwin and religion

    It’s not so much a question of evolution versus God, but evolution versus religion. Putting aside all religious texts, is it so much of a conceptual leap for people like  Dawkins to entertain the idea that evolution, cosmological, biological or otherwise, may be happening under a divine energy?

    September 30, 2009 By admin Religion
About Me
I’m a Creative Director with 20 years digital design experience. I get a real ‘kick’ out of conceptualising ideas, crafting creative solutions and influencing a strategic vision.