Tree of Life
I have been invited by Rev Diane Thompson, Team Vicar of All Saints’ Church in Emscote, Warwick, to design and deliver a project exploring the theme of the ‘Tree of Life’. The pupils and staff of Emscote Infant School and All Saints’ C of E Junior School will work with me to create a free-standing Tree of Life comprised of hundreds of drawings, collages and cyanotypes. This will be displayed in October as an installation in the church for the whole community to see, along with documentation recording the children’s ideas, feelings and reflections on the importance of trees in our lives. Since my own childhood I have been deeply inspired by trees, and, along with the children, hope to learn from taking time to stop and reflect upon their beauty and significance in our lives.
This Summer I have been clearing out the studio and have put some small works on paper and a few oil paintings into the Lever Arts Shop. Several pieces have already sold but some are still available.
”The call to the creative life is a call to dignity, to a life of vulnerability and adventure and the call to a life that exquisite excitement and indeed ecstasy will often visit.”
John O’ Donohue
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.
‘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
‘Do the Little Things’ installation at Coventry Cathedral 22nd May - 28th June 2021
On Saturday May 22nd I spent the day in the Chapel of Christ in Gethsemane, Coventry Cathedral making ‘Do the Little Things’ boats, meeting visitors and talking
with them. I was delighted that the first weekend of my installation there
coincided with the British Museum touring exhibition of the Lampesuda Cross - a
beautiful cross made from a refugee boat that was tragically wrecked. The ‘Do
the Little Things’ installation at Coventry continues until Monday 28th
Van Gogh Creative Quiet Day and Pembrokeshire colour studies
With Becky Morse-Brown, Art Therapist and Spiritual Companion, I am offering three Creative Quiet mornings this month inspired by the life and paintings of Vincent Van Gogh. The title of the mornings Lighting up eternity in the midst of life comes from the Catholic theologian Henri Nouwen as he described the impact of Van Gogh’s life and work. Prior to become a painter, Van Gogh worked as an art dealer and a missionary, spending some significant years living and ministering amongst an impoverished mining community before moving to the south of France where he painted some of his more famous works. Drawing on many of Nouwen’s insights, we will be reflecting 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 morning will include a visual presentation, opportunities to work creatively in silence and, for those who wish to, time to share reflections with one another.
All the mornings are fully booked. For information about future Creative Quiet Mornings contact Gillian.
Alongside this work I am developing work in the studio based on colour studies I recently completed in Pembrokeshire.