Roundup: The art of celebration, cross-cultural exchanges in illuminated manuscripts, the history of color, and insect-wing blooms

The Art of Celebration (album): Rend Collective is a folksy worship band from the small coastal town of Bangor in Northern Ireland that is internationally known for its high-spirited, experimental songs of joy. The Art of Celebration is their fourth of five albums, the story of which is told in the video below. “This record is an attempt to reflect something of the irrepressible laughter in the heart of God,” says bandleader Gareth Gilkeson. “It’s a call to the cynical to once again choose celebration over condemnation and a reminder to the broken that ‘the joy of the Lord is our strength.’” You can preview songs from the album here and purchase it here, or catch the band on tour (they’re currently in the US). I’ve embedded one of my favorite songs from the album below: “My Lighthouse.”


“Traversing the Globe through Illuminated Manuscripts” (exhibition): Through June 26, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles is running an exhibition of illuminated manuscripts and painted book arts from the ninth through seventeenth centuries. From the website: “These highly prized objects allow us to glimpse, admire, and study a world gone by, as well as its peoples, different belief systems, and an interconnected global history of human thought and ideas about art.” Check out the Q&A with curator Bryan Keene—so fascinating. Also click the link above to find out about related events. Next up is a lecture on April 19 titled “A Medieval Picture Book and Its Judeo-Persian Lives: The Shah Abbas Bible in 17th-Century Safavid Iran.”

Virgin and Child (Ethiopian)
The Virgin and Child with the Archangels Michael and Gabriel, from a Gospel book, ca. 1480-1520, Gunda Gunde Monastery, Ethiopia. J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.
Northumberland Bestiary
Pen-and-ink wash-tinted drawing of a dragon riding an elephant, England, ca. 1250–1260. Northumberland Bestiary (Ms. 100), fol. 54, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.


The Brilliant History of Color in Art (book): Victoria Finlay’s latest book from Getty Publications, full of fun facts about the origins and science of color. The trailer below tells how Prussian blue, Indian yellow, lead white, and Tyrian purple came to be. Lapham’s Quarterly has a nifty infographic on the same topic.


Mimesis (photomontage series): From 2012 to 2014 Paris-based artist Seb Janiak executed a series of twenty-two photographs that show insect wings pieced together in flower-like forms. Janiak says he believes that a spiritual reality undergirds the physical. “Using art to reveal what is behind the veil of matter is fascinating and full of discoveries,” he writes. See more Mimesis photos at the link above.

Mimesis by Seb Janiak
Seb Janiak (French, 1966–), Mimesis—Lacus Luxuriae, 2013. Chromogenic print, 180 × 180 cm.