Gillian Lever
New commission

I have recently completed a commission for a client who got in touch, during lockdown, to ask me to create a piece for their new home. It was wonderful, after months of working on the canvas, to host her for a ‘real life’ studio visit here in Birmingham last weekend. The client already owns a number of my paintings and completely trusted me to develop the work over a period of months, freedom that I relished. Meeting up was a really joyful experience and I was delighted that, together with the commissioned painting, she chose to purchase six of the smaller studies as well.

If you are interested in commissioning a painting please contact me.

Van Gogh Creative Quiet Mornings

Together with Becky Morse-Brown (art therapist and spiritual companion), I have offered a series of online Creative Quiet Mornings over the last few weeks. We held three separate mornings called ‘Lighting up eternity in the midst of life’, inspired by the life and paintings of Vincent Van Gogh. The title ‘Lighting up eternity in the midst of life’ came from the Catholic theologian Henri Nouwen’s description of the impact of Van Gogh’s life and work. Prior to becoming a painter, Van Gogh worked as an art dealer and missionary, spending some significant years living and ministering amongst an impoverished mining community before moving to the South of France where he painted more of his famous works. Drawing on many of Nouwen’s insights, we reflected together on Van Gogh’s spirituality, especially the qualities of authenticity and compassion which so deeply characterised his life as he searched for his true vocation. The mornings included input around the theme, opportunities to work creatively in silence and, for those who wished to do so, time during the session to share reflections with one another.

If you would like to be added to the list to receive information about future Creative Quiet Mornings please contact me.

Jake Lever

‘Dance’ - Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

‘Dance’, a large-scale painting on paper, was made as part of my work as Artist-in-residence at the Birmingham Conversations. The Conversations in 2016 brought people of all faiths and none together to discuss issues affecting the city. Having been on display in the Faith Gallery at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, it is this month being returned to its owners the FNC Charity (fncbham.org.uk).

The title ‘Dance’ captured the energy and vibrancy of living in a diverse city, and now I also see it as expressing something of the cosmic dance that mystic Thomas Merton has written about;

”No despair of ours can alter the reality of things; or stain the joy of the cosmic dance which is always there. Yet the fact remains that we are invited to forget ourselves on purpose, cast our awful solemnity to the winds and join the general dance.”

For more information about
the Birmingham Conversations see this short video - https://vimeo.com/175722012

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