Published by MONK
Founder, Editor Sophie Lévy Burton
Associate Editor Catherine Coldstream
Designer Rosy Naylor
Editorial Advisors Andreas Smith, Robert Lipscombe, Steve Petford, Marius Jankowski
Gordon House, 3 High Street, Lambourn, RG178XL
Why do artists do what we do, and where does it all come from?
I set up MONK originally because after years of talking to artists there was always this clear pull in the conversation – the meeting points between the mysterious experience of making art and the experience of their spiritual self – that elusive sense of bringing something from beyond and the nature of inspiration.
I wanted to create a fertile space for exploring art and the imagination, their roles in spiritual aspiration and evolution.
MONK began in the ether of online space at monk.gallery – still deliciously known as an inner space online but you can now find us in print too. During all the tight emotions raised by lockdown, it just felt the right time to manifest physically. Whilst social distancing was sweeping the world, and Zoom became part of our families, suddenly physicality and the felt experience was just terribly important. Being held by a person, being held by a book. Holding a book. The links to buy the print anthology of MONK are on the front of the website and scattered throughout the site. It’s a beautiful and bookish anthology of which we are very proud.
MONK doesn’t draw any conclusions. I like to think we hover on the edges of the Mysterium, seeking, not answering – journeying. Along with outstanding interviews, we’ve included some powerful poetry and fiction, not because they are particularly to do with religious feeling but because by their very mysterious quality as fiction they prick up your soul, and wholly belong into this MONKish imaginarium.
MONK remains an often intimate conversation about art and the soul. At its heart it believes there is a God and somehow, in some way (in many ways), the process and edit of creativity is a soul-journey around the divine and often to it. Intellectually speaking, MONK dances around the theology of creativity, of why we artists do what we do. First there is nothing, then there is something – a painting, a novel, a poem – how does that even happen? Consciousness, spirituality – art as meditation – the artist as conduit – these ripple through MONK, as at its heart it wishes to listen to the narrative of the artist’s own spiritual biography, for therein lies witness to that which lies distant.
I hope it finds you.
Sophie Lévy Burton
Click to buy the beautiful new print anthology.