Dressed With the Sacred

  • Artist:

    Catherine Stoll-Simon

  • Curator:

    Tanya Abraham


The idea for the work on spiritual clothes began taking shape two years ago, as I was visiting the Argenteuil Basilica in France. There was a public exhibit of the mysterious and holy Christ’s tunic that had been preserved for over twelve centuries.

In every religious and spiritual tradition, regardless of culture or civilisation, religious clothes have held a deep and mystical meaning. These sacred clothes, be it that of Christ, Buddha, the Sadhus, Muslims or Shaman, are much more than mere vestments. They represent a sacred body, a body of light, and fundamentally, an incarnation that seals the covenant between the divine and the human. Through this work, I am trying to portray that this incarnation is present in each linen, its every fibre that might look coarse on the surface but is simple and patched.

These tunics are given a voice – they talk about the metamorphosis of each individual who enters a spiritual mood. One step at a time, they are able to break free from the mould society creates for a person since childhood, and from the fetters of social conditioning and identity.

On shedding each expectation, they can finally welcome their own deep self.

Through this perspective, a spiritual cloth symbolises rebirth, one where the real self appears from the ashes of the old.

– Catherine Stoll-Simon, March 2018

About Catherine Stoll-Simon

Catherine Stoll-Simon is a french plastic painter and writer. She is a graduate in French literature and has also trained in plastic arts in Paris. Her plastic work, in a very contemporary way, has for many years been inspired by a very personal, spiritual and technical search, much beyond the current framework between figurative and abstract, between painting and sculpture. So far, her works have been exhibited in France, Tunisia, and at the Dakar Biennale.

Curator's Note

Tradition, myths and untouched natural beauty meet here at Kayal, a resort hidden in a quiet island on Vembanad lake, India's largest lagoon. On a soul searching trip to this island, Maneesha Panicker, the founder of experiential travel outfit, Silk Route Escapes, realized she had to share the authenticity of this unexplored land with her guests. At Kakkathuruthu, the Island of Crows, she built Kayal, an intimate space where fisherfolk and farmers share their life with guests. Though not far from the ancient port city of Kochi, the island, connected only by traditional rowboats, is off the maddening rush of modernity. While experiencing the luxury at Kayal, you will be taken back to time when life

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