When members of Empires of Faith were thinking about how to open the Imagining the Divine exhibition, it was suggested that we could begin by thinking about how religious communities are represented in Oxford today.
As with many good ideas, this one has grown beyond the space it was originally intended to fill, becoming an exhibition in its own right. The connection to Imagining the Divine and with the research of the project has remained at the heart of the exhibition. But with Arturo’s concept, Those Who Follow stands by itself, in a marriage of art, research, and community experience.
Over the Spring and Summer of 2017, Dominic, Arturo, and Stefanie have been contacting members of religious communities, visiting religious buildings, and taking photographs in and around Oxford. It has been an eye-opening time for showing the extraordinary diversity of spaces thought of as religious in the city. But as is so often the case, it has also highlighted how open and welcoming many of these institutions are.
Over the coming months we will be writing a little more about the making of the exhibition and our experiences of it, and hearing from members of the communities themselves. You can read more of these stories on our blog.
We are extremely grateful for the continued help and support of a number of groups, not least all of the communities who have taken part in the project, and welcomed us into their spaces. We are also particularly indebted to:
- Nicola Bird, of Oxford Museums Community Engagement
- Richard McCallum, of the Oxford centre for Muslim-Christian Studies
- The Ioannou Centre for Classical & Byzantine Studies for hosting the exhibition
- TORCH, for generously funding the workshops around the exhibition
- The John Fell Fund for supporting the curation of the exhibition
Curators: Dominic Dalglish & Stefanie Lenk
Photographer: Arturo Soto