Selected Works

Path to Mary, ©2003 Cara Driscoll

The Path to Mary(art installation for the Rosemont Art Gallery, 2003)

Essentially there are three main components to this work, which hopefully in its entirety will speak to you of a spiritual path.

The first is the background, which was influenced by place. The place of inspiration was St. Peter's Abbey in Muenster, Saskatchewan. This is the place where a group of us retreat to for one week annually to make and discuss art. St. Peter's prides itself in being self-sustaining, and ironically it also sustains others. It offers us a safe space where we can work free from distraction, pray, go for walks, or just relax, as the spirit moves us. A few people have pointed out the canopy of trees on the street where I live, and believe that this is the place of inspiration. One never knows.

The second component is the vessel. I have been inscribing text in the interior of the vessel while the clay is still wet. This text is either hidden or revealed, much like our own thoughts and feelings. Recently, I have become increasingly aware of the interior of the vessel as a metaphor for spiritual insight. There is deep meaning for me in this space, but there is also mystery.

The research has inspired me to contemplate on containers such as begging bowls, sea shells, cups, pots and even the interior space of the church. Many writers have nourished my soul, such as Sue Bender, Joyce Rupp, Soetsu Yanagi, and Margaret Visser. Then I try to apply these insights to the women vessels. There is still mystery in the interior space, but for me that is often the beauty. It is not always the solution that counts the most, but more often it is in the searching.

The third component is the path. Initially, I had a title for the work and called it Mary in the Woods. After reading Diane Schoemperlen's Our Lady of the Lost and Found, I became intrigued with milagros. Milagro is a Spanish word for miracle. In places like South America and Mexico, people line the shrines to Mary with votive offerings, either a prayer for something, or a thanks for something received. I put out a call for milagros, asking for small spiritual objects that have a meaningful content. I asked people to put their religious affiliation aside and to think of Mary as a spiritual sister. They came through as you can see. I pondered every one of them in my heart. It is with the deepest appreciation that I regard these offerings. I believe the milagros gave the work the meaning it was meant to have.
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Last updated October 2009