radha sahar    page 1 of 2
spirituality in the public domain exhibition

The Spirituality in the Public Domain Exhibition
multisensory  •   multimedia   •   multicultural   •    interactive  

• First shown at Pataka, Porirua, Feb - Mar, 2005
• 2007 showings at The Suter gallery, Nelson,
and Lake Taupo Museum & Art Gallery
• Endorsed by Joris de Bres, Human Rights Commision, as an official project in the NZ Diversity Action Programme
Additional Information ...
References & visitor numbers        
• CD of interviews: 'What's Going On' & 'Spiritual Outlook', National Radio
• Newspaper & magazine articles     
• Floor Talk
• Active participation by people across a wide range of ages & abilities
• High profile Multi-cultural & Multi-faith participation
• Attracted people who had not previously visited the gallery
• Community groups requested special bookings

The exhibition consisted of eight large, core works and a selection of then current works. Six of the core works centre on world religions and spiritual origins: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Indigenous Beliefs, Islam & Judaism. I took artistic license in interpretation and in using inclusive-language text in the works so the public could participate.The works (below), were blessed or approved by religious leaders of the respective Faiths. The other two core works (next page), invited public expression of secular spirituality. The aim of the exhibition was to foster understanding and respect between people of different beliefs, thereby contributing to world peace.

The supporting works in the exhibition explored secular spirituality and values, and some drew upon various faiths and cultural beliefs.
Some of these, or works in a similar vein, may be viewed in Paintings.

Prayer Wall - Judaism - approx. 5.5 meters by 1.8 meters - Polymer and acrylic, consists of 28 free form canvases mounted together. Accompanying film footage screened nearby. Five layers of text and scripture were hidden in the painting. Viewers inserted their written prayers between the canvases, and touched the painting and several embedded sacred relics from the Western Wall, Jerusalem. Thankyou to Rabbi Lipman for his advice and contribution of a key scriptural passage.    More Details...

The Rose Labyrinth - Christianity - 4 x 4 meters. A circular canvas placed on the floor so as viewers could walk a contemplative pathway, themed on the Beatitudes. The centre was rubbed with fragrant oil of rose. My musical composition Voices in the Wind accompanied this piece. Thank you to Rev. Graeme Ogilvy for blessing this work at the opening of its first showing. Now in the collection of the Anglican Church, Plimmerton diocese.      More Details...

Ganges Blessing
- Hinduism
2.4 x 1.2 meters. Acrylic, metallic, sacred ashes, sandalwood paste on a freeform canvas with inserted relics: water from the Ganges sealed in glass tubing, vibuthhi (sacred ash), sandal paste, ghee and sandalwood oil in clay pots, coconut fibre, fresh flowers.

Thank you to Brahman Vinod Jofi for his guidance and blessings.


Scripture Scrolls - Islam - 1.86 x 2.5 meters - four reversible canvases grouped together. People inserted written blessings and prayers into cut 'prayer pockets' on the stitched frames. Thank you to Mullah Abdul Jabbar for his guidance and blessing of this work, whihc was donated to the Moslem Centre in Kilbirnie.

Raranga Wairua - Indigenous Beliefs - approx. 1.5 x 2 meters. Two cut canvases placed at right angles on flax matting.
The public wrote heartfelt beliefs on the canvas strips, and wove them together. Now in the Kenepuru Hospital collection.
Thank you to kuia Tawai Te Rangi (above), for her guidance and blessings.

 Peace Prayer Wheel
 - Buddhism            © Radha Sahar
           900mm x 900mm x900mm.  Acrylic & metallic on plastic cylinder mounted on a Lazy Susan

People wrote prayers for peace, placed them in the cylinder, then spun it around.
Sahar's musical composition Peace Prayers, accompanied this work.
The build-up of prayers created coloured layers as the work toured, with each venue represented in a different colour.
The above photograph was taken when the work was first installed and no one had yet taken part.

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