Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Hand Designed Altar Cards by Nina Somerset (With a Comment on Original Liturgical Arts)

In considering the liturgical arts, one of my own particular interests lay in the revival of original, qualitative craftsmanship and artistry -- as opposed to simply relying on the ordering of mass-produced items. (cf. Revival and Traditional Creativity within the Liturgical Arts as part of a New Liturgical Movement, Aug. 2008.)

Mass-produced catalogue items do, of course, provide a quick and convenient way to acquire needed liturgical items -- I was going to add "inexpensive" as well but this, in point of fact, is not always the case. In that regard, they certainly serve a purpose. But that said, there is also something to be said for expanding our horizons further, pursuing original work as well, be it through the commission of vestments, original works of sacred art and music, and so on.

One example I have shown a couple of times over the years is a set of hand designed altar cards which were executed by Nina Somerset for the parish of St. Silas, Kentish Town:

The reason I mention this again is that I was recently very pleased to be provided with some higher resolution images of this same set of altar cards and I wished to share some of these with you today. Aside from being simply beautiful to view, perhaps they will also be of some inspiration to our liturgical artists and to those who commission work from them.

Here is the central part of the central altar card:

And here are a couple of details taken from the same:

Finally, a detail from the Lavabo card:

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