Solomon Raj (1921-2019)
Batik on cotton
108cm x 70cm
On loan from Barbara Butler, Christians Aware.
I have run conferences with Solomon, who was an Indian Lutheran minister who became well-known for his batiks. On one occasion we exhibited many batiks and I chose this one. It depicts longing, hope and faith.
(Barbara Butler, Christians Aware)
Solomon Raj was a Lutheran theologian and artist from India. Born in 1921, he became a school teacher, then studied theology at Gurukul, Madras, served as a minister and as a student chaplain and after that fulfilled a wide range of positions in India, at Selly Oak, Birmingham (UK) and other countries before settling down again in his own country. In the meantime he published his PhD dissertation in Birmingham and was active in the Asian Christian Arts Association. For a number of years he was the spiritual father of the St Luke’s Lalitkala Ashram in Vijayawada, Andra Padesh. In the 1950s he discovered his gift as an artist, first specialising in linocuts and wood block printing. Later he also made batiks and – though to a lesser extent – acrylic paintings. He discovered the possibilities of using visual art as a means of explaining the biblical narratives and propagating the Gospel. Most of the art works which he published in separate booklets and books are accompanied by brief poetical meditations.
(Artway Visual Meditation, February 10, 2013)