Auguri!: Expressing the Dominican Tradition in Contemporary Art for the Jubilee

Auguri! - Dominican Exhibition of Contemporary Art Santa Sabina Rome: 23rd November 2016 – 24th January 2017
Jubilee Art by Sheila Flynn, OP

The fifteen banners hanging on the side naves of this Paleo-Christian basilica given to St Dominic by the Pope in 1220 are expressive of so many figures from the Dominican tradition. Each brother, sister or laity exemplifying the multitude of charisms of the Order of Preachers, the five continents where the ardour of St Dominic has spread, and both joyful and turbulent times that the Dominican Family has undergone has been interpreted by an artist from the contemporary Dominican Order.

The historical figures offered their lives in the service of their contemporaries, handing on the Gospel message in varied circumstances by their creativity and mission. And today, the members of the Dominican Family continue to add to their fervour. The fifteen artists who recall them in this exhibition are witnesses to this. In this way, past and present join together in these fifteen banners, illustrating how tradition forms the foundations for mission today.

The Dominican artists include: Jacques Noé (Liege), Pablo Julian Fernando (Mexico), Cristobal Torres (Miami), Dino Quartana (Paris), Stephan Stüttgen (Düsseldorf), Sheila Flynn (Sydney and Kopanang South Africa), Dana Benedicta (Oslo), Felix Hernandez (Sevilla), Marko Bobas (Zagreb), Zbigniew Krysiewicz (Louvain-la-neuve), Gisela Groenez (Düsseldorf), Gerald Isiguzo (Lagos), Jean Jacques Boildieu (Paris), Jocelyn Dorvault (Cairo), Thomas Nicholas (Nairobi), Mary Horn (Oamaru NZ).

Here are some of their testimonies:

Sheila Flynn

The accepted submission is a lithoprint of St Dominic. I began with my current experience working with the women, deciding to sew onto the printing paper the Matisse image, very rudimentary, linking with the suffering and struggles of the Kopanang women, how the paper needed to be pierced to enable an image to be formed. The stitches were then removed after the printing process.

Then explored the world of Dominic, the journeys he made in compromised places, mountains, lonely terrains, and how he brought light into darkness (luminosity, light, contemplation, Good News) in those wilderness places (metaphorically as well as geographically. The side title was also stitched: ‘hope bearing companion / scattering darkness / edge walker’.



Mary Horn

In the middle of 2014, I received an email from fr Alain Arnould, OP from Belgium asking if I would do a painting to be transferred onto a large banner and hung in Santa Sabina Basilica in Rome in November 2016 to end the 800 years celebration .

The painting was to be evocative of the life of Sigrid Undset (20 May 1882 – 10 June 1949) who was a Norwegian novelist and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1928 for her trilogy Kristin Lavrandatter – novels set in medieval Norway. She would be one of 16 members of the Order that would be chosen for the exhibition, two from each century.

Undset was born in Kalundborg, Denmark, but her family moved to Norway when she was two years old. In 1924, she converted to Roman Catholicism and became a Lay Dominican. She married an artist and their marriage broke down leaving her with an unborn child and two other children one handicapped. Her eldest son was killed in the Second World War. She fled Norway for the United States in 1940 because of her opposition to Nazi Germany and the German occupation, but returned after World War II ended in 1945. She has also written a significant novel about Catherine of Siena that was republished by Ignatian Press in 2009.

The works of Sheila Flynn and Mary Horn are currently on exhibition in the Basilica of Santa Sabina, Rome. 



(6 December 2016)