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Put off Your Shoes for the Place on Which You Stand is Holy Ground

2014, acrylic on unstretched canvas, 29 x 42Ē, by Jenny Badger Sultan

Painting titled 'Put off Your Shoes for the Place on Which You Stand is Holy Ground', by Jenny Badger Sultan. Click to enlarge. Detail of painting 'Put off Your Shoes for the Place on Which You Stand is Holy Ground', by Jenny Badger Sultan.
For an exhibit at the 2014 SLMM conference (Society of Layerists in Multi-Media) in Hays, Kansas, members were asked to incorporate an image of shoes in our work. At first this seemed like a repulsive idea to me and I didnít want to comply.

Then, as I thought about it, I thought about my sturdy black shoes that served me so well on my recent trip to India, and how I had to take them off every time we went into a temple or holy place. I painted a piece called We Took Off Our Shoes, incorporated my own real footprints in the painting as well as the image of Vishnuís footprints. I felt very happy with how these images and experiences came together.

This piece was a follow-up. I was inspired by an icon I had seen from the monastery of St. Catherine on Mt. Sinai showing the young Moses confronting the burning bush and hearing Godís voice telling him to take off his shoes because heís standing on holy ground. I showed my sandals and, again, my bare footprints.

There's a third 'shoe' painting, Hearth Dancer.

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