Tuesday, 2 June 2009

In the beginning was the logos - calligraphy by Sophie Verbeek

My good friend and calligraphy teacher Sophie Verbeek has recently restyled her website and you can now get a better overview of her work and projects, it's really worth a visit.
Today she has published a fabulous new book of her work inspired by Jean-Yves Leloup's translation of the Prologue to John's Gospel. It's called Au commencement le logos and you can see a preview here.
This is a really ecumenical project - Jean-Yves Leloup is a French Orthodox priest, Sophie herself was baptised as an adult into the Roman Catholic Church having been brought up in a fairly secular mixed Christian-Jewish family. Here is a quick translation of what Sophie says in the foreword to the book about how she came to undertake this project:

"While looking to bring together my art, my background and a metaphisical
questionning, I one day read Jean Yves Leloup's translation of the Gospel of
John. As this is a text both of great poetic sensitivity and of great mystical
intensity I was particularly moved by this version which is 'a recognition of
the radically Hebrew dimension of Christianity'.
This dual inheritance is my own personal background so this version moved me deeply and I really wanted to work on the first 18 verses which I found very intense and marked by mysticism."

Now my hope is that we can find one or several spaces for Sophie to exhibit this work inspired by the logos, there are several wonderful church spaces in Geneva which would be a great. Here's the French of the foreword:
Cherchant à concilier ma création artistique, mes origines et un questionnement métaphysique, j'ai lu un jour la traduction de Jean-Yves Leloup de "L'évangile de Jean".
Etant un texte d'une grande sensibilité poétique et d'une grande intensité mystique, j'ai été particulièrement sensible à cette version qui est "une reconnaissance de la dimension radicalement hébraïque du christianisme."
Personnellement issue de cette dualité, cette version m'a beaucoup émue et j'ai eu envie de travailler les dix-huit versets du Prologue, que je trouvais très intenses et emprunts de mysticisme.
Dans sa traduction, Jean-Yves Leloup, psychologue, philosophe, prêtre et théologien orthodoxe, a une volonté de rester dans le sillage des Pères de l'Eglise "qui ne sépare pas science exégétique, connaissance philosophique et expérience spirituelle."
C'est une invitation au lecteur pour qu'il approche "son souffle de ces braises obscures" dans un effort d'écoute, qui est pour Jean-Yves Leloup "le premier pas
vers le dialogue." La dimension poétique de ce texte est indéniable, mais plus on
semble s'en rapprocher, plus se sens se révèle inaccessible. Il appartient
à un autre temps, une autre dimension.