Brown’s solo debut explores prayer

by Molly Crain
Staff Writer

Transylvania junior Paul Brown will debut his first solo show, “The Prayer Project,” at the Land of Tomorrow Gallery Friday.

Brown, an art and biology double major, has certainly made his artistic footprint on campus with performances in various theater productions — a mark that has now officially breached the Lexington community.

As described on the gallery’s website, “ ‘The Prayer Project’ is a sculptural (and) audio installation exploring the congruency of reasoning and content of prayer across religions and geographies.”

The idea for the project first came to Brown while working as an intern for Land of Tomorrow last term, which later encouraged him to ask if the gallery would host his own personal art show.

Upon receiving authorization, Brown took the idea and ran with it. For months, Brown has been collecting several hundred prayers through telephone recordings, written prayer submissions and the solicitation of individuals.

“The purpose of The Prayer Project,” said Brown, “is to illuminate the similarities of purpose and intent of prayer across religious boundaries. The project itself consists of a series of audio sculptures, drawings and text pieces reflecting these similarities. My hope is that the project highlights the frivolity of separation and segregation based on religious belief.”

While researching different styles and processes of prayer, Brown came across the studies of Dr. Kevin Ladd, a professor at Indiana University South Bend, who has been a key source of inspiration.

Based on Ladd’s research, Brown organized the prayers directionally — inward, upward and outward — and has represented them accordingly through artistic media forms.

Within the exhibit, audio tracks of prayers will be projected through sculptures that focus on these directional patterns. In addition to the sculptures, there will be drawings that explore prayer positioning that is prominent throughout various faiths and religions parallel with Ladd’s concepts.

Computer software called Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count will also be on display, which will further examine the phenomenon of prayer by pointing out word repetition and similar phrasing within prayers of differing cultures.

The opening reception at the Land of Tomorrow Gallery for “The Prayer Project” is Sept. 30 at 6 p.m. The gallery is located at 527 East Third Street.

During this time, Ladd, who has traveled from Indiana for the event, will give a talk on his research about prayer and how Brown’s work “manipulates it for the installation,” as the gallery website states.

The reception will continue until 11. Further information on the event can be found on Facebook.

“The Prayer Project” has been funded by Transy’s Kenan/Jones Grant.


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