Lindisfarne Gospels: God in Design, curated by Jinjing Zhang
Numerology and geometric design was key to the art of La Tène culture, which produced a rich metalworking tradition that relies on ornamental, non-narrative designs. The early medieval Lindisfarne Gospel is an illuminated manuscrip with carpet pages that demonstrate a great deal of intricate mathematical design that are visually closely allied with Insular La Tène art. The hidden numbers, geometry and direction of motion within the carpet pages seem to indicate that they were visual paths to the Divine. The presence of carpet pages in front of gospel books suggests that they were used to inspire meditation and encourage contemplation, preparing people mentally for the gospel words to come and the mysteries of the Christian life. Patterns, shapes and colors comprise the carpet pages that lack any narrative content, suggesting that they communicate through mathematics and geometry some truths about the cosmos in ways that move beyond the written word. This exhibition will start a journey among the painted prayers that can be found in the design and ornamentation.