Seventeen paintings for Summer
Through the generosity and enthusiasm of visitors to last year’s Open Studios’ event, we raised £2,500 for the fantastic All Saints Youth Project in Kings Heath. This summer, 10% of my painting sales from our online shop during August and September will also be donated to the project. All Saints Youth Project is an inclusive youth project providing recreational and informal educational opportunities and individual support in Kings Heath, Birmingham.
Please take a look at the Lever Arts shop and contact me if you would like to arrange a studio visit before purchasing a work. There are seventeen oil paintings to choose from.
Gillian Lever ‘Song’
Gillian Lever ‘Zen’
Gillian Lever ‘Courage’
Gillian Lever ‘Healing welcome’
Gillian Lever ‘Drench’
Gillian Lever ‘Gentle’
Gillian Lever ‘Glimpse’
Gillian Lever ‘Quietly’
Gillian Lever ‘Earth song’
Gillian Lever ‘Invitation’
Gillian Lever ‘Radiance’
Gillian Lever ‘Rejoice’
Gillian Lever ‘Ritual’
Gillian Lever ‘Sombre’
Gillian Lever ‘Winter blue’
Gillian Lever ‘Grace’
Gillian Lever ‘Rest’
Sew Far Sew Good - getting ready for Greenbelt
We have been getting ready to offer a series of workshops at Greenbelt Festival under the banner of Sew Far Sew Good, an Art Collective we formed some years ago. Aside from Gillian and I, the collective consists of Gillan’s sister Susie, a primary school teacher with a special interest in art and the imaginative nurturing of young children’s imaginative lives, and artist Phil Hopkins. This year we will also be joined by our old friends Sarah and Chris Thorpe. To chime with this year’s festival theme of Wake Up, we have been preparing frameworks to enable participants to weave their own colourful sun. Do come and say hello if you are visiting the festival!
Newly commissioned oil paintings underway
2022 is proving to be a rich time of re-connecting with old friends some of whom I haven’t been able to see over the past couple of years and some of whom I hadn’t seen for many, many years before COVID. It is energising to see people ‘in real life’ and share food and conversation once again. When visiting other people’s houses it has been interesting to see the artwork that they choose to live with and to become reacquainted with a few of my paintings that still hang on their walls. I’ve also enjoyed sending paintings off to new homes. This painting ‘Tranquility’ is currently settling in with a nephew and his partner.
Another energising pleasure of 2022 has been working on a number of new oil commissions for people wanting paintings to mark particular life events for themselves and others. I am really enjoying the process of meeting with people, listening to the stories inspiring the commissions, working up studies and then completing the paintings themselves. If you would like to commission a painting please do get in touch.
Here are some paintings currently underway.
I was really glad to be invited to the community launch of WASWASA by my friend, artist Mohammed Ali last week at the brand new home of Soul City Arts in Sparkbrook, Birmingham. WASWASA – Whispers in Prayer will be an immersive theatrical experience created for Birmingham’s Hippodrome Theatre showing later this summer. It will explore the act of Islamic prayer and what that means in a modern, secular society. Mohammed writes,
“The physical act of prayer now extends beyond religious spaces to places such as parks and city-squares; it spills over into our everyday worlds. It is even visible in sports arenas with athletes prostrating to the ground or raising hands to the sky in moments of triumph. Can we draw parallels between an act of personal faith and our quest to achieve a higher state of focus?”
Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge
Visiting the house recently that Jim and Helen Ede lived in during the 60s and 70s reminded me of just how inspirational this place is to my life and work. It has been one of those liminal spaces to which I have been drawn back to again and again since I first encountered it in the 1980s whilst a student. A few years ago I spent time photographing and writing in the house. “Lantern” is a short poem which captures my response to the light within the space and how it affected the objects within the space.
This white world where light
bounced and flickered all day, slowly became hushed and still, a sea of low
Light faded until blacks expanded, horizons started to float, and modest
sculptures became strangely monumental.
Cloaked in a cosmic dim, the shells and
the furniture and the pebbles started up a mysterious new dance, free of all
Reflections on the Role of Art in Spiritual Accompaniment, with the art of Alfred Wallis
‘Sail away from the safe harbour, catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore, Dream, Discover.’
In May Becky Morse-Brown and I facilitated an online session for the ‘Birmingham Forum of Spiritual Directors and Companions’ exploring creative approaches in spiritual direction through the work of Alfred Wallis. Alfred Wallis’s paintings of seascapes, harbours, lighthouses and voyaging offer a rich starting point for reflective conversation.
‘To come to the knowledge you have not
You must go by a way in which you know not.’
St John of the Cross
For information about future art and spirituality sessions and ‘Creative Quiet Days’ please contact Gillian.