Relics and Offerings
Anne Luther Relics and Offerings Artist Statement

“My convent school memories of a god constantly disappointed by my humanness, a tortured Christ and a surprised virgin mother with post partum depression, haunt me to this day. Religion is such a volatile and personal subject, one I was taught never to discuss at the dinner table, but no one ever said I could not turn it into art.

Over the years my gods and goddesses have changed in stride with the icons of popular cultural. What I venerate today is quite different from saintly remains, relics, held sacred in the past.

Many different religions revere relics; devotional pendants or cases which contain bits of bone or cloth reputedly from a departed saint. Relics were believed to have healing and magical powers, produce miracles and provided a spiritual link between man and god, a treasure for the faithful. Set on an altar, carried in processions, or worn around the neck as a talisman to comfort, and protect the bearer from harm, these relics, often extraordinary works of art in themselves, made an indelible impression on the faithful.

In this new exhibition, I explore the relic beyond the saintly remains. I offer up my own interpretation using the possessions of ordinary men and women. Their prayer books, photos, letters and hat feathers have survived the passage of time; they’ve already lived longer than I have. I wonder what the people who owned them were like, how they were used and what magic they may now hold. Their stories are intertwined with mine. They comfort me, protect me from harm. They link me with their afterlife. I am a devote’ of their remains and faithful to their treasures.

As always my work involves making connections between reality and surrealism, preservation and decay. I take these seemingly, uninteresting belongings and transform them into intimate love tokens with a Fornasetti twist. I invite you to hear these people’s stories with your eyes and hope that you will enjoy this journey through my view of relics & offering.â€

Anne Luther Signature