From National Catholic Reporter:
It's an amazingly rich film, filled with Meinrad's work, interviews with both her and friends and fellow artists.
For NCR's full profile of Meinrad Craighead, see In the Name of the Mother
From Spirituality & Practice:
Meinrad Craighead is a very special artist who has done many paintings of the Divine Mother in her many different guises. At the beginning of this 60-minute documentary, she states: "Prayer is really sitting in silence, centering the wholeness of your being in whatever situation you find yourself in." This view enables us to consider her mystical art as a continuing act of devotion. And those who open their hearts and minds to her creations can be said to be in prayer.
Craighead's spiritual journey has taken her from childhood in Arkansas where she gathered wisdom from her grandmother, to teaching in the Southwest, studying in Italy, and spending 14 years in England as a nun. The artist returned to New Mexico in 1983 and has created paintings and prints with imagery from some of her favorite sources—Catholicism, Native American shamanism, and ancient mythology.
Craighead shares her reactions to a devastating fire near her home during which she felt deep empathy for all the affected animals. We see scenes of her pilgrimage to Spain to the Black Madonna of Montserrat. A handful of women offer their praise for the beauty, mystery, and spirituality of her artistry. The documentary produced by Amy Kellum shows nearly 100 of Meinrad Craighead's paintings and prints.
From Spirituality & Health
Mystic, scholar, and visionary artist Meinrad Craighead tells the stories of her spiritual and artistic journey in this beautifully filmed documentary. From her childhood in Arkansas, the 21 years she lived in Europe, and her 14 years as a Benedictine nun in England's Stanbrook Abbey, to her life near the Rio Grande in Albuquerque, New Mexico, her home since 1983, the film allows us an intimate glimpse into the life of an extraordinary woman who draws inspiration from the world's spiritual traditions and mythology to create art that is fierce and gentle, tender and passionate.
Craighead's work possesses a deeply contemplative quality, though she is more shaman than saint, more a devotee of the Divine Feminine than a minion of the patriarchy. It was while studying medieval Catalan art in Spain that she first encountered the Black Madonna, whose dark, mysterious form immediately became part of her spiritual and artistic language -- another powerful way of imaging the Divine Mother.
Craighead recalls having had her first spiritual experience at the age of seven as she gazed into the eyes of her dog, and animals figure importantly in her art. She has absorbed -- and her work reflects -- the indigenous and Native American spirituality that sees animals as sacred carriers of messages from the divine, and nature as the home of spirits who manifest their presence in wind, water, earth, and fire.
The documentary highlights nearly 100 of Craighead's paintings and prints and includes talks with scholars, an art historian, a Jungian analyst, and former students of the artist, who help define her place in a global, historical, religious, and artistic context and demonstrate the deep effect her work has on all who encounter it.
From Sacred Hoop Magazine:
The title says it all. This beautifully made DVD chronicles artist Meinrad Craighead’s life and work, and is full of inspiration and nourishment. Images of her artwork are interspersed with sequences of her working on paintings, making pilgrimage, walking her dog, making her daily ritual in her studio, dancing with other women and so on. We see Meinrad immersed in her lifetime quest to express the many faces—across cultures and time—of the Mother face of God. Her humility, quiet passion and deep insight, as she speaks of her lifelong journey to image the sacred, gives us an accessible meeting with this treasured elder. Friends also help tell her extraordinary life story as an artist and as a teacher, and what she has meant to them. The DVD is full of many images of her wonderful paintings and prints, and extracts from her writing about them and her creative process. But there is no guru hype about the film, it is as unsentimental and honest as the images she has given birth to for over 50 years. And by the end of the documentary the meaning of the word prayer in the title is obvious. It is the quiet place, the waiting place, the deep core within each of us which is beyond word or thought, where we are once more united with our divine essence and reason for being. —Faith Nolton
I attended the screening of your documentary in New Mexico and was shape-shifted by the film; it is potent. Thank you for your commitment to this work. —Gabriel Madrone
All I can say is BRAVO! BRAVO! BRAVO! And CONGRATULATIONS! —Susan Barnard
My DVD arrived a little over a week ago and I have already watched it twice. Having been at one of Meinrad's "Praying with Images" workshops, and having read her Retrospective through, I thought I was totally familiar with her views and art, but the documentary takes it all to a much deeper level. It is hard to believe how much is put into just one hour's time. It is a masterful job and congrats to everyone who had a hand in the production of this. The images, the stories, the shots of Meinrad walking in her beloved Bosque with Loge were all so beautifully woven together with the perfect music to frame it. What a beautiful tribute to Meinrad's art and life. I have added a link to your site on my Facebook page and already two friends have responded that they need to get a copy of this. I'm sure that word will spread rapidly as people begin to share the DVD with others. Thank you for taking on this large task and carrying it to completion so beautifully! —Jan Lawry
I want to tell you that the video that you worked so long and hard on is truly FABULOUS. Meinrad's power and singular intelligence and the potency of her work are palpable. You really nailed your subject. My husband and I watched it together and he was blown away as was I. I knew the film would be good because of who she is, but I had no idea it would be that good. Congratulations. —Sharon McErlane, author of A Call to Power: the Grandmothers Speak
I had never heard of her before and was spellbound by your video. I have watched it twice already and it has inspired me to re-establish a ritual space for myself in my studio. I lit my first candle this morning. As Meinrad suggested---I want to mindfully bring my contemplative life into my studio work. I want to thank you for sharing Meinrad and her images and her words with other seekers of the wisdom way. —Maryon Attwood
Although I'm familiar with Meinrad's work and recognize many paintings, I was moved to tears by the impact of the film. Thank you, thank you for all your hard work and all the supportive cast, let alone, Meinrad's gifts and her openness to God's movement in and through her! —Jane Welch
Meinrad's new DVD is a stunning introduction to feminist-art-as-prayer, as well as to the unique life journey of a woman artist of our generation. —Judith Favor
I have been enjoying my DVD. I have watched several times and receive inspiration every time I watch. —Valerie Brelje
I have to tell you that Meinrad's documentary is just amazing! I love that you captured the thread of mysticism in her early life and showed how it's been woven throughout. —Vicki Schroeder
Your DVD is wonderful. We watched it last evening and thought it was beautiful and full of warmth and understanding. Thank you. We will pass it on to our children. —Catherine Kirschner
Watching the Meinrad Craighead documentary was like a meditation. As I became more absorbed in the words and images, my body and mind began releasing all the tightness and angst I tend to carry inside myself. I wanted to climb into the work. When it ended I wanted more. Thank you for creating this piece and reminding me that there is another way of thinking, experiencing and living. —Lauren Kirkwood, Houston
A week ago at the Greening Spirit’s Home, we had an evening convocation of spirited women coming together in another one of our sacred Circles to learn and share community, wisdom and inspiration. The purpose of this gathering was to view the newly- released documentary of the visionary artist, Meinrad Craighead. …The documentary of the life of Meinrad Craighead was deeply moving, inspirational, emotional. Afterwards we shared about those stark, sometimes dark, always strange and beautiful images from her visions and paintings of the Divine Mother, The Feminine Face of God. At evening’s end, there were huge hugs, new connections, exchanges of phone numbers, and an enormous energy of gratitude, homecoming and blessing…. —Christine Phoenix-Green
Deep authentic story is medicine and this visual chronicle of the evolution of Meinrad Craighead's art and spirituality is food for the soul. Whether you are meeting her phenomenal artistry for the first time or have followed her work for decades, you will find this film inspirational. Meinrad's images are visual myths that make the invisible visible. Moreover, her simple daily rituals done with deep reverence suggest a path to guide and inform our own quests. This exemplary documentary spotlights what is possible when one listens deeply with the ears of the heart and surrenders to that call. I highly recommend it. —Joy Seidler
Meinrad Craighead is an amazing mystic/artist and so is the Praying with Images DVD. It works in every way- this beautifully produced DVD compellingly captures Meinrad's life, art, and the natural world in which she is integrally embedded. The DVD rings true to what I know of Meinrad over several decades of acquaintance. The audience of several hundred artists, writers, friends, family, healers and the spiritually-inspired at the recent film opening in New Mexico was clearly absorbed, delighted, and transported into a sacred space that Meinrad's presence and vision evoke. This is a DVD that is so rich that you will want to watch it many times to absorb all that it has to offer on so many levels. —June Peters
I have followed Meinrad Craighead's life over the years. She has been an inspiration to me. I was thrilled that a documentary was being made of her life! I found it to be an inspiration! As an artist & spiritual seeker, Meinrad's life speaks volumes to me. I recommend it to others who strive to live authentically the art & spirit life. —Maribeth Clancy
I first became aware of the immensely gifted artist and mystic Meinrad Craighead in 1989 when I came upon her book `The Mother's Songs: Images of God The Mother' while browsing around a Catholic bookstore in Costa Mesa, California. I was struck by the vibrant colors and evocative image on the cover. Looking within I was immediately taken aback, it was akin to opening Pandora's Box. The contents were highly evocative, strangely threatening and deeply personal. I intuitively understood that I was being exposed to a depth and scope of spirituality that was unlike anything I had experienced up to that point in my life. Momentarily confused, I couldn't help but wonder why this book was on the shelf of a Catholic shop. It most certainly didn't resonate with anything Catholic that I was aware of. My initial opinion would change in time.
Not long after discovering this little gem Meinrad's `The Litany of the Great River' was released and my journey into her fascinating inner landscapes and sacred spaces continued. Now eighteen years later I have finally been given the opportunity to meet this incredible, unique woman through this lovingly crafted documentary film. Her life, her work, her inner thoughts are all there pulled up from the depths and dissected in the light of personal analysis as only Meinrad could accomplish, absolutely spellbinding. I may never get the opportunity to meet her, but at least I have `Meinrad Craighead: Praying with Images' to watch whenever I feel the need to return and rest in the "dark beauty" and "divine gaze" of the Great Mother.
(Personal Note: The only content I have an issue with is the glaring absence of a masculine perspective of this amazing woman. There are numerous comments and appearances sprinkled throughout the video by family, friends and fellow artists and only one of these individuals are male. Even more bothersome was the fact that several times during the film the narrator mentions how inspiring Meinrad has been to so many women. Can't men be inspired as well? The divine Goddess is a universal image with a universal message accessible to both genders. I hope the makers of this beautiful documentary didn't intentionally leave us out. That would surely be a disservice to both Meinrad's legacy and the Great Mother.) —Brian E. Erland, “Rainbow Sphinx”
Meinrad Craighead: Praying with Images is A Must See as it moves through the life and work of Meinrad Craighead. It is beautifully done and is a tribute to Meinrad's journey. I found viewing this DVD Praying with Images a sacred experience and it will be a DVD I will watch again and again. —Linda M. Smith, PhD, LMFT
I first saw some of Meinrad Craighead's art in the early 80s. This wonderful video explores her work and life. It shows representative images of her art, and includes commentary by a number of different women. It's a good intro to Craighead and what her art means to her, what moves her to create beautiful, haunting and challenging images of the god the mother. —Rebecca Scarborough
I've had the privilege of seeing Meinrad's paintings and images evolve through the years--always with a clear focus on how she hears the divine feminine speaking to her. When I saw the premiere screening of this DVD I was impressed with the integrity with which it captures her art, her personal stories, and the profound impact her work has had on others. Now I look forward to sharing Meinrad with friends and colleagues in campus ministry. —Mark Rutledge