Sursum corda / Lift up our hearts I-VII.
pencil drawing series, 2021-2023
Ágota Lukács started drawing the series in the spring of 2021, during the crown virus epidemic. She drew the lines with a soft graphite pencil on a metre-long sheet of Canson watercolour paper rolls, day after day, for months, in the morning, in complete silence.
From silence, the Sursum corda series of drawings was born, and the inner experience he wanted to express with them is also linked to silence. In the quieting of the thoughts, in the upward direction of the gaze, slowly, perhaps barely perceptibly, something shifts and the stone begins to rise, the heart to soften. It was in the silence of spiritual exercises that I experienced the gentle force in the space of which the stone can begin to soften, to rise. It is not easy to put into words how these drawings were made, what they are about. It is a liturgical and biblical text, as well as a personal spiritual experience, to which I can best relate the sight of the rising, weightless, softening stones. ” – writes the artist.
The title Latin text, “Sursum corda”, is recited in the Catholic Mass. “Let us lift up our hearts”, the priest addresses the faithful. The artist has long been preoccupied with this phrase and the inner change of direction to which it might refer. How do we lift up our hearts? We can pause for a moment between our everyday life and the many aspirations and thoughts of our self. Perhaps we take a deep breath, perhaps we look up, perhaps we quiet our hearts and start to listen. It is hard to detect the inner movement, or perhaps just the inner striving for movement, in which the soul muscle tenses and something inside us shifts.
In the book of Ezekiel the prophet we read, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ez 36, 25; cf. Ez 11, 19). The Old Testament image of the human heart renewed by divine grace, from stone to life, is carried on in the New Testament in the teaching of Jesus.