WELLESLEY, MASS.- The Davis Museum
at Wellesley College is presenting Daphne Wright: Prayer Project, an installation of seven video portraits, reflecting the private moment of prayer and meditation. These tranquil films place a variety of faiths on an equal footing in their stripped-down, human form, showing faith as part of daily life. The viewer is invited to explore the notion of communion, both in the sense of its religious connotations (a communion with god) but also in the old sense of the word as communication, community, or dialogue with the self or with an other. Prayer Project, a continuous 50-minute projection, is on view in the Joan Levine Freedman 57 and Richard I. Freedman Gallery until July 9, 2017.
Daphne Wrights work is always suggestive and moving, said Lisa Fischman, Ruth Gordon Shapiro 37 Director of the Davis. Her Prayer Project is particularly timely and apt. It is important that we display art that provokes thought on social issues, and to have the opportunity to collaborate with Daphne Wright is a great honor for the Davis.
The portraits in this installation are of Bryan Appleyard, Vice President and Chairman of the Buddhist Society in London; Sister Frances Dominica, filmed at the All Saints Convent, Oxfordshire; Jay Lakhani, Education Director for the Hindu Council UK; Rabbi Francis Berry of the Bristol and West Progressive Jewish Congregation; Prafula Shah, a leading community representative of the Jain faith; Vanessa Gilliland, member of the nondenominational Vineyard movement; and Dr. R. David Muir from the Evangelical Alliance.
The Davis installation is in contemplative counterpoint to the devotional paintings on view in The Medicis Painter: Carlo Dolci and 17th-Century Florence. While Dolcis pictures expressed and encouraged religious piety, Wrights filmic portraits create space for the quiet consideration of devotional diversity, inviting empathy and shared awareness.
Daphne Wright, born in 1963 in Ireland, is an artist best known for her unsettling yet poignant sculptural installations. Using a wide range of materialsplaster, tinfoil, video, printmaking, found objects and performanceshe creates worlds that are beautiful and rather eerie which feel like the threshold to somewhere new. Wright has exhibited nationally and internationally, with works held in permanent collections at the Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Germany, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin and Towner Art Gallery, Sussex.