Jake Lever

New work Autumn 2023

Recently I have become fascinated by the branching threads of fungus mycelium in organic soil and I have loved discovering the book ‘Entangled Life’ by Merlin Sheldrake.  Merlin Sheldrake is a biologist, writer, and speaker with a background in plant sciences.  A keen brewer and fermenter, he is fascinated by the relationships that arise between humans and more-than-human organisms. ‘Entangled Life’ is about fungi - most fungi live out of sight, yet make up a diverse kingdom of organisms that support and sustain nearly all living systems. ”Fungi throw our concepts of individuality and even intelligence into question. They can change our minds, heal our bodies, and even help us remediate environmental disaster.”  (Merlin Sheldrake’s website).

On local woodland walks I have hunted for mycelium, finding them fascinating and visually inspiring.

I have loved seeking out other fungi too - so beautiful in colour and form.

Back in the studio I have been developing a new body of work - drawings and mixed media pieces inspired by the fungi that I have been studying. 

”Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.”  Martin Luther King, Jr.


Gillian Lever

Joan Eardley Creative Quiet Days

Together with art therapist Becky Morse-Brown, I have been preparing to facilitate some Creative Quiet Days inspired by the work of the Scottish artist Joan Eardley. The days will take place on Saturday 28th and Monday 30th October 2023 at Cotteridge Quaker Meeting House, 23A Watford Rd, Birmingham, B30 1JB from 10am - 4pm. 

Joan Eardley is one of Scotland’s most popular twentieth century artists. She was a sharp observer of both people and place, and her artist gaze was direct, truthful and unflinching. Her gritty, expressive and vibrant artwork documents the lives and landscapes of the urban and rural communities in which she lived before her death from cancer at the age of 42. As a woman and as an artist, she defied societal norms, forging her own unique and unconventional creative path. Her images from the north-east coast of Scotland will provide a nourishing visual focus for the Creative Quiet Days as participants create their own landscapes and seascapes. Each day will include space to share reflections with other group members on how Eardley inspires creative and authentic living. The days are open to all and Cotteridge Quaker Meeting House is a fully accessible space with ample parking although it is also easy to reach by public transport. We will have sole use of a classroom suitable for ‘messy work’ and access to the courtyard garden. The cost is £65 per person (to cover costs of venue hire, refreshments, and the provision of all art materials). We are also asking that people bring their own packed lunch in order to keep the cost as low as possible.

All are welcome. To enquire about places please contact.


Gillian Lever

Norfolk garden drawings

This August I spent a week in a tangled garden in a very quiet Norfolk village. The light was beautiful and the colours of the sprawling late Summer plants were magical. I worked outside with chalk pastels on a series of abstract drawings inspired by the colour palette of the garden. It was a grounding and healing experience to spend long days in such a nurturing space and it reminded me of this poem.

The Gardener by Mary Oliver

Have I lived enough?
Have I loved enough?
Have I considered Right Action enough, have I come to any conclusion?
Have I experienced happiness with sufficient gratitude?
Have I endured loneliness with grace?

I say this, or perhaps I’m just thinking it.
Actually, I probably think too much.

Then I step out into the garden,
where the gardener, who is said to be a simple man,
is tending his children, the roses.

Jake Lever

Festival Season 2023

This Summer I have had some involvement with a few festivals. For a number of years Lever Arts has contributed to Greenbelt Festival where artistry meets activism, the secular meets the spiritual and politics meets positivity. This year we offered textiles workshops at Greenbelt with ‘Sew Far Sew Good’ a family art collective. Greenbelt Festival is powered by a group of passionate and dedicated people who lovingly create a festival that strives to be an inter-generational celebration, inclusive and accepting of all, regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexuality, background or belief and we love being part of it.

Alongside workshops at Greenbelt some of my cyanotype work appeared at Reading and Leeds Festival 2023 over the same August Bank Holiday weekend.

Using Format