Welcome to Lever Arts
Lever Arts is a small organisation run by Gillian and Jake Lever in Birmingham - a city we love for its heart, soul and superdiversity.
Gillian is an artist who makes abstract paintings; Jake’s practice spans drawing, painting, printmaking and installation. As well as working to commission and creating exhibitions they devise participatory experiences in the areas of health, education and spirituality. They believe that art can offer a resource for centered living in a frantic and fractured world.
Gillian studied Fine Art at Reading University before qualifying as an Art Therapist at Hertfordshire University. She has exhibited widely and for twenty years was represented by Art First, a London based gallery. She has practiced Art Therapy and Art for Wellbeing in a number of hospitals, GP surgeries and community settings for over thirty years.
In 2016 Gillian completed the ecumenical training course in Spiritual Accompaniment for lay and ordained Christians run by the Birmingham Forum for Spiritual Directors and Companions. Recently she has started to offer Creative Quiet Days with a colleague. Throughout her life Gillian has found her own art practice to be a valuable spiritual exercise - like chanting, prayer or reading - she believes art making can be a powerful way to connect to the divine voice within. Alongside her practice as a painter Gillian is enjoying exploring new ways to creatively and spiritually journey with others.
Jake studied Fine Art at Reading University and at Birmingham City University where he gained his MA. Since then he has developed his art practice, exhibiting his work nationally in sacred spaces, alongside galleries and museums. In 2019 he won the Art + Christianity Award for his installation 'Soul Boats' in Birmingham Cathedral. He is also an experienced art educator and is currently a part-time Assistant Professor at Warwick University.
Jake is interested in the power of visual art to draw us into an encounter with the sacred. He seeks to make work that invites a slowing down, a return to the liminal and the "real". Researching universal archetypes such as the hand, the tree and the boat, his studio practice incorporates traditional craft processes such as gilding alongside experimental drawing, printmaking and early photographic techniques.
Jake Lever 'Soul Boats', a short video of the installation.
'Soul Boats' Art + Christianity Award Winner 2019 for art in a religious context.
‘One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these - to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.’
Clarissa Pinkola Estes