This week the Dionysian Artists was launched across three social networking platforms, WordPress, Tumblr and Facebook with each going through development stage. The idea is a loose polytheist art guild or movement where artists can show their work, discuss, learn and criticise. Anyone can join and the criteria for art is open. There is one rule: the art shared must be devotional.
In many polytheist paths the deities worshiped encourage creative expression as a form of devotion. It’s not surprising that there are incredibly talented polytheist artists out there, from painters to poets. The Dionysian Artists is a group where these artists can come together to show their work, advertise work for sale, seek commissions and seek advice in a likeminded creative community. For the admirers it is a place to view our gods, to seek artists for work and to simply admire.
As mentioned the Dionysian Artists can be found on three platforms, each with a differing purpose but interconnected with one another.
WordPress site: the official website of the Dionysian Artists, here we will showcase artwork and submissions.
Facebook group: A closed group open to all, the group is closed to maintain members privacy. The Facebook group is a place where members can discuss topics on a casual level.
Tumblr: an open submission blog, a more casual version of the WordPress website.
Want to help?
I would love this to be a self-sustaining community and that my role as host for the Artists is limited. We are looking for volunteers to do basic admin jobs on each platform. Also in the coming weeks we will be seeking submissions from artists. If you’re interested contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Also I am looking for feedback, advice, criticism and support. We’re starting small and basic – if this kicks off it might become a major polytheist website.
Who is the host of the Dionysian Artists?
Markos Gage. I’ve been around polytheist groups for over fifteen years, a Dionysian Hellenic Polytheist. I’m a professional artist with a background in art history and material studies. I’m a trained sculptor, mould maker, painter, digital artist and pastelist.
It would be wonderful if this community is laid back and relaxed, I have deliberately left definitions, by-laws and rules out of this group to enable the upmost potential for creative expression. The Dionysian Artists are hosts to devotion, not a place to cause controversies, debates and childish squabbles. I’d love it that my role as host is limited, but if it comes to it any trolling behaviour will result in removal from the Artists.
Below is the starting Charter for the Dionysian Artists
The name for the art movement is derived from the classical guild of artists called the Dionysiakoi Technitai (Artists of Dionysos). This guild was dedicated to Dionysos through the theatre and performance but the members were not exclusive worshipers of Dionysos. Some titles indicate that poets were dedicated to other gods under the auspices of Dionysos. A member seeking to join this art movement does not need to be dedicated to Dionysos to join, they are not even required to follow any Hellenic path as long as they consider themselves polytheist and producing artwork for the gods they may join.
Imagine a group of people with one specific goal: impressing our gods. It is a noble ambition. Your audience is divine thus, ideally, your art will be the absolute best.
So let’s provide a space where artists can come together to express themselves for their gods and also seek further help from others.
That is my vision.
Always Remember your Audience
A good chunk of western philosophy is based on what is beauty. What sets the standard of aesthetics? Thus far the answer has never been found as aesthetics is a human invention. So what if our audience is not human? What if it’s god itself? If we free ourselves of human impressing then the scope of our creative potential is limitless, liberated.
Comprehending your audience, the Divine, is key to the Artists of Dionysos.
What is Art?
Since the establishment of modern art, artists have striven to define what is art. The Modernist ideology generally considers that anything can be art as long as there is an artist to define it as art.
That is something I want to foster in this community. It does not matter what you do as long as it’s the best form of expression to the Gods.
Art submitted can be anything from photos, drawings, performance, dance, written word, poetry, music. Any form of expression.
So any art will do?
As pointed out above the definition of what is art is up to the artist. But the art here has to meet one criteria: it has to be considered devotional. In truth it is owned by the gods. That does not strip the artist of the rights of their work, they are free to do with it what they will, but the purpose of creation or designation is devotional. That is the only rule for this art movement.
An example of what I mean by this is: In ancient Greece the theatre was a sacred domain. Actors would express their work to an audience, but in doing so they would ‘give themselves’ to the gods. They suspend their own identities to take on the role they are acting. The performance is holy in itself and although it does exist in the eyes of the gods the audience brings the act into existence by appreciating it. By buying, watching and appreciating the audience allows art to continue to be made. This interchange between artist and admirer is the epitome of the ancient concept of Charis.
What is not acceptable?
Common sense should be used as judgement, anything that is illegal is not allowed. Anything that is contrary to the movements goals is forbidden. This includes material created with the intent to offend. The work provided must be dedicated to a deity. Must have some religious context.
What is religious context?
We will not judge anyone’s work based on their religion.
Any God? Any religion?
This has been designed with the intent of providing the polytheist / pagan community with its own space to share their work. But we acknowledge that some polytheistic paths intersect with monotheistic faiths. We will not forbid any religion.