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I have just returned from a splendid day at the Milton Keynes International Festival , a day which involved exploring a post apocalyptic sound-scape in a disused supermarket, riding a mechanical buffalo on the magical menagerie, and being in charge of its rear-end action (and my poor old dad was in charge of the ‘cock of le bull’ as the French gentleman who seated us carefully explained), before spending a dreamlike half hour in a space that managed to feel like an organic cathedral but was called an illuminarium.

It was time spent with family, in reflection and laughter, sharing food, meeting people, engaging with matters of a higher order. It was as I was wondering through the illuminarium that I realised that engaging with art on this scale felt a little religious. That art pointed you upwards, somehow.

I follow no religion but I like ceremony, I like communal activity. I am often moved by art, culture and nature. In another time I would have gone to church, just because. But now going to church feels like an active declaration of faith rather than the status quo, so the faithless but enthusiastic spiritual tourists like me who would have probably have gotten away with it in other times, may not now.

In my party days Sundays were for hangovers, and later, and for a few years, they were just dead time, time spent shopping, going to out of town retail parks. Jesus. I dread to think of the time/ money wasted. More recently, and probably to do with the arrival of my son we have ventured into museums and galleries and felt better. Today though felt good. Reflecting back it may be because it was participatory. You had to become part of the installation, to act. I want to do this more often.

Anyway, why not try it? There’s plenty more to see over the next week or so. I fancy taking part in the Domini Public tomorrow evening, but can’t make it. Someone go and tell me about it please …

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