Septiformis – Ars in Cathedrali

cathedral1 (33K) septiformis_poster (34K)

is an exhibition presented by the Belgian bishops to cardinal Danneels on the occasion of his 75th birthday. Seven artists bring work to the Brussels Cathedral. They live in Belgium, enjoy an international reputation and have shown interest in contemporary society issues.

I visited this exhibition during my attendance at the Prebytery (of Europe) meeting in October 2008. I made a number of photographs of the works that moved me.

For more information about the exhibition, check out the official website:

Fred Eerdekens
Holy Spirit come home

Through the banality of products of our everyday life light brings out the letters of 'Holy Spirit come home'. Light, the first creature made by God, is the source of life. It makes its way through our habits and routine to offer us the divine presence, a purpose and hope. The diving light spreads through our everyday life. In sharing our reality, in taking on its form, it casts upon it the gift of life. This lifegiving and creative force receives the name the Holy Spirit which appears in bright letters on the table in this cathedral where men and women come to meet God.

Catalogue, p. 38

eerdekens_holy1 (40K) eerdekens_holy2 (40K)

eerdekens_life_left (21K)

Fred Eerdekens
Life itself is not enough

The clothes we have suit our age, size, profession, gender and culture. They are not enough to map out the profile of our life nor give its meaning and destiny. What humanity lives here below, in its clothing, is not enough. To live our humanity to the full and find out its right place in all its richness, we need a vision which goes beyond appearances.

Catalogue, p. 38

kasimir_tondo (31K)

Marin Kasimir
Tondo Mundi

This work, in line with other stained glass of the cathedral, brings together me and women not only from all nations but also from the past and the present. As such, it reflects that the life, death and resurrection of Christ, which is celebrated in this place of symbol, has a relevance for all and for all times. This work praises the diversity, which the Book of Genesis describes day after day in its story of creation. Here is the vast crowd of those who have sought you.

Catalogue, p. 60

lafontaine_eternite_video (8K)

Marie-Jo Lafontaine
Ivre d'éternité, j'oublie la futilité de ce monde

The title of the work is borrowed from the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa. It puts a question about the relationship between the time we are given in this world and eternity. It might suggest that to look upwards towards this other reality is to take a flight. But the thirst for eternity only makes us forget the futile aspects of the world, not the essential things of which we live by here below. By forgetting these irrelevances, we let the essential finds its proper place.

Catalogue, p. 52

Left: image from video in the cone
Below: people peering into the cone. Sound through the speakers either side of the opening.

lafontaine_eternite_girls (33K) lafontaine_eternite_man (31K)
lafontaine_eternite_beard (31K)

imschoot_history (13K)

Jan van Imschoot
The canonisation of History

In the rays of light, we may see a reference to the arrows of St Sebastian, the signs of this martyrdom. We may also see in them the rays of a divine light, or again, some may see the nails or the wounds of Christ on the cross. The cross has been cut out of the canvas. It is placed at the intersection of the four points of the compass, and painted in the colour of coagulated blood. The two youths with the athletic look suddenly become vulnerable when they are seen with the cross. They are canonised into witnesses at the foot of the cross. One might also see them as the good and the bad thieves.

Catalogue, p. 68