Dissertation submitted for the Degree of Photomedia BA (Hons)
Chapter 1 (extract)
The opening paragraph of Chapter 4 will give a taste of some of the meanings and aspects of Christian art and design. The next paragraph will outline what type of analysis the chapter’s images will go under, which Christian ideas, history and principles occur regularly, where Peirce’s semiotics theory connects with the analysis, and how being equipped with the right knowledge can aid personal understanding and experience.
Following this, there will be some pages of essential groundwork necessary to be able to read the photographs, such as the meaning of numbers, shapes, colours, halos and auras.
The first photograph to be analysed is a stained-glass window, which is a panel (perpendicular) tracery design. “Tracery is the term used to describe the varied forms of stone and glass decoration of the window head during the Middle-Ages…” (Dirszlay, 2001:231). Following this, attention will be given to the three scenes depicted in the window with any related Bible references.
The next photograph that will be analysed is one representing the Erpingham Chasuble. After its definition there will be a selection of details concerning what the design and the representation on the front communicates, and who it may have been made for. The last photograph that will be analysed shows the top section of Bishop Fox’s crosier. As before, there will be a definition followed by a selection of the details concerning what the design communicates.
Chapter 5/Conclusion will expand on the recipients of the messages expressed in Church art and design, how Church art and design can assist and enrich the Christian experience, and what the features of that experience are. This chapter/conclusion will also look at why iconic art is symbolic and what it is based upon.
This will be followed by an examination of the invisible, yet visible essence of the Church. Invisible because only the Omniscient God can see the true spiritual state of people; and visible because this spiritual state is proved, to a point, by the change in life style of people, and be photographed. Also, the extent to which photographs of Church art and design communicates Christianity will be written about. To finish, there will be a suggestion for possible future studies.
TO WHAT EXTENT CAN PHOTOGRAPHS OF CHURCH ART AND DESIGN COMMUNICATE CHRISTIANITY?