An exhibition of modern interpretations of religious art manages to be both really enjoyable to look at and utterly baffling if you read the description.

Hosted in Chelsea’s Garrison Chapel, the show is a display of traditional arts, so expect lots of icons painted using old techniques, bronze works, needlecraft and drawings.

However, the accompanying descriptive text in the small brochure is just baffling and doesn’t really tell you anything about the art, or the artists or the techniques, just something about “transformative experiences”. Which is annoying, as it’s quite frustrating when art exhibitions shy away from describing the art they are exhibiting.

I was particularly keen on the diptych of two wings, which maybe accidentally also forms a triptych with the tree between them — an angelic tree, maybe.

Elsewhere in the room, there are modern versions of Hindu and Islamic art, contrasting the animalistic of one next to the geometric shapes of the other. And there’s a lot of angelic art here, which wouldn’t look out of place in a collection of Victorian paintings.

Descriptive frustration aside, it’s an enjoyable exhibition to visit if you like religious art, and even this despicable heathen still likes seeing God in paintings.

The exhibition, Traditional Art as Living Practice is at the Garrison Chapel until 24th November.

It’s free to visit and open Mon-Fri 11am to 4pm and on Saturdays from noon to 5pm. The gallery, inside the former Chelsea Barracks is about a 10 minute walk from Sloane Square tube station.


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