Art: The Pure Lands

Aroundthe world and throughout history cultures have viewed visual art as a conduitbetween earthly and divine realms, often revering images as literalincarnations of the hallowed. In India it is

Subrisio Saltat by Shawna Khalily
Subrisio Saltat by Shawna Khalily

Around the world and throughout history cultures have viewed visual art as a conduit between earthly and divine realms, often revering images as literal incarnations of the hallowed. In India it is called “darshan,” in the Greek Orthodox tradition it is “metastoicheiosis.” In The Pure Lands, Louisville artist Shawna Khalily’s spectacular woodcuts — on view through March 24 at 1305 Gallery — fall into this tradition. In 16 hand-tinted prints, Khalily’s exquisite line blends images of martyred saints, wounded mortals and angels and demons struggling with life’s ups and downs. It is in the depiction of these struggles that Khalily’s work gains its sacred resonance. When we behold her image of the arrow-laden St. Sebastian we see our anguish reflected in his suffering, and in the process our hurt is lessened. This is ambitious art. Hours: noon-4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. 

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