We Took Off Our Shoes to Enter the Temple
2014, acrylic on unstretched canvas, 28 x 36”, 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 didn’t want to comply.
Then, as I thought about it, I thought about my sturdy black shoes that served me so well on my trip to India, and how I had to take them off every time we went into a temple or holy place. I incorporated my own real footprints in the painting as well as the image of Vishnu’s footprints.
The silhouette to the right was engraved on the floor of the temple to indicate where worshipers could prostrate themselves for prayer.
I felt very happy with how these images and experiences came together here.
Two related paintings: Hearth Dancer and Put off your Shoes, for the Place on Which you Stand is Holy Ground.