Vas Spirituale

March 20th, 2009

Saint Teresa of Avila was traveling through Spain as she paused for a small break along a rocky road. As she sat beneath a tree she gazed upon some weedy flowers growing along the path. Seeing these flowers, her soul immediately sensed God's almighty perfection in His creation and she was enraptured as she meditated upon the simple and infinite beauty of a small wildflower growing on the ground. She saw in this flower the beauty of all Creation and more importantly the infinite beauty of the Creator.

In my photographic images I endeavor to capture the beauty of the common and allow the mundane to transcend the obvious visual effect it takes upon our minds. This is a practice of taking a single moment out of time and placing it into the infinite space of eternity. In this moment of visual space, a recollected silence exists and the soul is able to occupy itself with quiet prayer. Like Saint Teresa's reaction to the commonplace the imagery should move beyond the mind and stir the soul to prayerful meditation of the Creator.

This particular image, Vas Spirituale or Spiritual Vessel, is a visual interpretation of the Virgin Mary as the spiritual vessel to which God will pour out His love for all men in order to fulfill His covenant with humanity by sending us His Son, the Redeemer of man. It is part of a series Litaniae Lauretanae—"Litany of Loretto"—in which the images contained examine a particular honorary title of the Virgin Mary.

This image is currently traveling with the CIVA exhibit, Highly Favored—Contemporary Images of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The physical image is a large 34"x34" giclee print on Arches Cold Press and was created in 2007.

Further imagery may be found at my website:

Topics: Arts

Photojournalist Lisa A. Johnston exercises her creativity by exploring spiritual concepts through photographic montage imagery.


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