From the bright geometric patterns of Islamic pottery and carpets to statues depicting Buddha to the soft landscape paintings of Thomas Cole, the Detroit Institute of Art’s collection holds many examples of how mankind has artistically interpreted and interacted with nature and the concept of Creation.
The above works and many others will be the focus of a tailored, docent-led tour, Creation Revealed as the IFLC Creation series concludes 2-4 p.m. Sunday Dec. 3 at the DIA. The event is free but register to attend by November 30 online at https://iflc.wufoo.com/forms/q19glyg1eff13b/ or call 313.338.9777 X 0. Participants are encouraged to meet at Prentis Court by 1:45, or they can gather in the DIACafe to have lunch prior to the tour at noon.
Works chosen represent the Native American, Meso-American, African, Chinese, Islamic, European, American and African-American cultural traditions. Count on two hours to see as many of these cultures as your energy and feet will allow. Docents will lead small groups of 10 so that you will be able to see, hear and interact with the works of art.
The pieces were chosen by Paula Drewek, a retired Arts and Humanities Studies professor who taught at Macomb County Community College for 40 years and now serves on the IFLC education committee.
“We chose a diverse range of works that reflected the artists’ interpretation of the sacred relationship between man and nature,” Drewek said. “Though the Creation theme shines through in some pieces more obviously than others, each was chosen because they depict different religions and rituals and the connection to the environs around us.”
Tourgoers will observe ritual objects such as Inuit or raven rattles used by indigenous Americans to divination tools used to connect to ancestors from African tribal cultures.
In some instances, the connection will be easy to spot and very explicit such as in the sculpture of Sakyamuni Emerging from the Mountains which captures the transition of Siddhartha Gautama to the Buddha.
In other examples the created work draws upon the experience of the sublimity of nature as seen by Thomas Cole. The beauty and pattern of natural elements is another approach in the work of Henry Moore. Each culture’s uniqueness emerges as we confront the myriad ways artists translate feelings and consciousness of the sacred in their art.