Deborah Thompson will demonstrate how the lives of medieval female mystics have inspired her most recent artistic project.

Nelson artist Deborah Thompson to discuss her influences in upcoming talk

Deborah Thompson will demonstrate how the lives of medieval female mystics have inspired her most recent artistic project.

Links between medieval women mystics such as St. Teresa of Avila and 21st Century art practices will be discussed by popular Nelson artist, teacher and curator Deborah Thompson at Selkirk College’s Kootenay Studio Arts (KSA) next Friday.

Thompson, who has taught at KSA and curated for Touchstones Nelson, will demonstrate how the lives of medieval female mystics have inspired her most recent artistic project.

She travelled to Spain last spring to research female medieval mysticism and particularly the life and work of St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582), the Carmelite nun who revitalized her order via self-discipline and self-denial. The saint also was the author of a number of spiritual books that have remained influential.

Curiosity about female ascetic practices is part of the motivation for Thompson’s exploration of links between holy women of half a century ago and contemporary artists.

“I see such practices as body-centered,” Thompson said, “which I find to have a contemporary resonance with artists today.”

Thompson, raised in Toronto, received a MFA in painting from the University of Montana, and has held residencies at the Vermont Studio Centre and the Banff Centre.

Her talk and visual presentation will take place on Friday, January 17 at 7:30 p.m. in Room 310 at the KSA building, (606 Victoria Street).

The event is free and open to the public, as part of Oxygen Art Centre’s 2013-2014 Presentation Series supported by the Columbia Basin Trust and the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance.

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