Friday 30 October 2009

The Tree of Life

St Andrews Leytonstone are mounting a community art exhibition from 8th-22 November as part of their Tree of Life project. It's a programme to bring together members of their community to create art work and share memories at St Andrew's church - this also links in with the theme of Remembrance, and their Service of Remembrance on 8th November. Their Seniors Group, youth group and church group have been working with local artists on their art work for the exhibition, professional artists will also be exhibiting, and they will have creative drop-in events in Café Refresh throughout the exhibition period.

St Andrews describe this project as follows:

"The Tree of Life is a creative project, started by St Andrew’s Church, working with community groups and local artists to produce arts work that reflects and celebrates life in Leytonstone.

Participants will display work alongside professional artists in an exhibition, Roots and Remembrance, in the church and Café Refresh from November 8th – 22nd. There will be an exhibition launch on 8th November at 11.30 am - all welcome for tea and coffee after the annual St Andrew's Service of Remembrance.

The Tree of Life is a commonly used symbol across many different cultures, which suggests the idea that all life on earth is related and has common roots. Our Tree of Life project will connect people in our community, remind us of our roots and connections here, and help us grow relationships in the place where we live.

Local artists including Mark Lewis, Peter Webb, Wendy Le Ber and Sba Shaikh will be exhibiting alongside community groups. We invite all our community in to come and share a memory, write or draw, and connect with others.

Programme of Activities

  • Sunday 8 November - St Andrew’s Remembrance Sunday Service, 10.00 am, and Exhibition Launch (all welcome for coffee and tea), 11.30 am.
  • Tues 10th November - Creative Drop-in Workshop (Mark Lewis/Peter Webb), 12.30 pm.
  • Tues 17th November - Share a local memory or story, 12.30 pm.
  • Wed 18th November - Creative Drop-in Workshop (Wendy Le Ber), 12.30 pm.
  • Thur 19th November - Brigantia Consort lunchtime concert, 12.30 pm.
  • Sat 21st November - Forest Heritage Walk with Forest Keeper (Ian Greer), 11.30 am – 12noon.

Further information: 07866 451744 or

Tuesday 27 October 2009

Showcase exhibition & Study Day

'Consider the lilies' by Anne Creasey

'Nativity' by Rosalind Hore

'The Young Christ' by Joy Rousell Stone

'Grafitti Joy' by Viki Isherwood-Metzler

'St John' by Celia Ward

'Perspectives on commissioning Christian Art' is a commission4mission Study Day taking place on Saturday 7th November at Chelmsford Cathedral (New Street, Chelmsford, CM1 1TY) from 10.00am – 2.30pm. It will bring to an end our showcase exhibition in the Cathedral (Monday 2nd - Saturday 7th November, Cathedral opening times).

Our showcase exhibition at the Cathedral will be the most comprehensive we have yet mounted both in terms of the number of artists contributing and the range of works on show. The showcase exhibition will include works by Harvey Bradley, Colin Joseph Burns, Anne Creasey, Michael J. Creasey, Jonathan Evens, Rosalind Hore, Viki Isherwood-Metzler, Mark Lewis, Sarah Ollerenshaw, Caroline Richardson, Henry Shelton, Peter Shorer, Joy Rousell Stone, Celia Ward and Peter Webb.

The Study Day programme is as follows:

9.45am - Registration & refreshments;
10.00am - Welcome & Introduction to commission4mission;
10.20am - The Very Revd. Peter Judd, Dean of Chelmsford Cathedral – ‘Experiences of commissioning art for Church & Cathedral’;
10.50am - Dr James Bettley, Chair of Chelmsford DAC – ‘Commissioning & the Faculty process’; 11.20am - Three commission4mission artists to be interviewed about their experiences of commissioning;
12 noon - Midday Prayers, Lunch break & Exhibition viewing;
1.00pm - Q&A session involving Peter Judd, Dr. James Bettley & the three artists;
1.45pm - Rt. Revd. David Hawkins, Bishop of Barking – ‘A Vision for the commissioning of contemporary Christian Art’;
2.15pm - Q&A session with Bishop David;
2.30pm: Close & Exhibition take-down.

To book a place or for more information, contact Jonathan Evens on 020 8599 2170 or

Tuesday 20 October 2009

Upcoming events

Peter Webb will be exhibiting at the 76th Annual Exhibition of the National Society of Painters, Sculptors & Printmakers at the Menier Gallery from 17th - 28th November. The National Society was formed in 1930 to meet a growing desire among artists of every creed and outlook for an annual exhibition in London which would embrace all aspects of art under one roof, without prejudice or favour to anyone.

Jonathan Evens will be speaking on The Art of Life at the annual 'At Home' Service of the Mothers' Union and Women's Fellowship at St Margaret's Barking. The service which takes place at St Margaret's on Monday 2nd November at 2.15pm will include a collection for the work of commission4mission.

All Saints Festival weekend

The Glory of the Sacred concert

Viewing our exhibition

commission4mission members, Alexander Chaplin & Henry Shelton

All Saints Goodmayes celebrated 100 years of worship on their site with a Festival Weekend which included a concert, flower festival, recitals, services and a commission4mission art exhibition. The exhibition features works by five commission4mission artists - Harvey Bradley, Jonathan Evens, Rosalind Hore, Henry Shelton and Peter Webb.

The Festival weekend also included: a Flower Festival on the theme of 'The Gate of Heaven'; music recitals featuring commission4mission member and All Saints' organist, Alexander Chaplin; 'The Glory of Sacred Music,' a concert featuring the All Saints Festival Choir and the East London Chorus, conducted by Alexander Chaplin, and including works by Hayden, Faure, Vaughan Williams and Howard Goodall, among others; Praise Service; Recital of Baroque music; and Choral Evensong.

Jonathan Evens said, "All Saints' Festival Weekend was a feast of creativity and we were thrilled to play a part in its success. For us, this exhibition was about returning to the beginning for commission4mission as our founder member and Chairman, Henry Shelton, is a member of the church and developed the idea for commission4mission from a conversation held with the Bishop of Barking after the Bishop had dedicated the memorial etched glass windows that Henry had created for All Saints. From that conversation commission4mission has grown rapidly to the point that it is gaining its own commissions and holding a showcase exhibition in the first week of November at Chelmsford Cathedral."

Thursday 15 October 2009

All Saints Festival weekend exhibition

Our exhibition for the All Saints Goodmayes Festival weekend was set up today. The exhibition features works by Harvey Bradley, Jonathan Evens, Rosalind Hore, Henry Shelton and Peter Webb.

Harvey is exhibiting a selection of his ash glaze pottery (in a addition to his paintings) including patens, chalices, bowls and a vase. Harvey writes: "There is something exciting about taking dull, grey, ash from the burning of wood and using it on pottery, particularly porcelain, to form colourful glazed surfaces. To me this transformation process is meaningful. We use a jug for baptisms at our church on which the ash (symbol of repentance) after being fired to 1260 C has become a textural gold colour (an encouraging warm earthy gold). Colours like this can lift the spirit."

Jonathan has a significant selection of his work included in this show ranging from symbolic expressionist creation scenes to his minimalistic combinations of poetry and line drawings. Two church-based photographs from his 'Windows on the world' series have also been included. In this series he captures a foreground object framing something beyond thereby symbolising our seeing from within own immediate frame of reference or perspective but additionally our ability to also see beyond.

Henry has created a crucifixion specially for this exhibition which is worked in a Vorticist style and is unusual because he has used tea and pencil in its creation. He is also exhibiting a print of his popular painting, The Old Rosary. Rosalind includes her Jesus in the boat and The baptism of Jesus, which have become much loved staples of our initial commission4mission exhibitions. Peter has included a portrait of the Revd. David Nash, a painting of the Woodford Memorial Hall, and an allegorical work with a punning title, The world, the fleche and the devil, painted to commemorate the restoration of the fleche on the Woodford Memorial Hall.

The exhibition is open from 10.00am - 4.00pm on Friday 16th, Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th October. All Saints' Festival weekend also includes a Flower Festival on the theme of 'The Gate of Heaven' (same dates and times).

Other events and services include:

• Friday 16th October: Music recitals featuring commission4mission member Alexander Chaplin will also be given throughout the day. Youth Service, 8.00pm.
• Saturday 17th October: 'The Glory of Sacred Music' Concert featuring the All Saints Festival Choir and the East London Chorus, conducted by Alexander Chaplin, 7.30pm.
• Sunday 18th October: Praise Service, 10.30am. Recital of Baroque music, 3.00pm. Choral Evensong, 6.30pm.

The programme for 'The Glory of Sacred Music' concert includes CHH Parry - I Was Glad When They Said To Me; Howard Goodall - The Lord Is My Shepherd, Love Divine; Hayden - excerpts from The Creation; Vaughan Williams - Five Mystical Songs, All People That On Earth Do Dwell; Faure - Cantique De Jean Racine; Cesar Franck - Panis Angelicus; Brahms - Geistilches Leid; and John Ireland - Greater Love. The East London Chorus will feature Max Kenworthy (Organ), Martin Muir (Baritone), and Alexander Chaplin (Conductor).

Concert tickets are £10 (£8, £5 concessions/child only available if booked in advance). Student Standby, £3 on the night with student ID. Available from the Ticket Secretary on 07958 066394 or online from and at the door on the night.

Wednesday 14 October 2009

Passion, sacrifice & love

Sarah Ollerenshaw is currently exhibiting in a two woman show at the Seascape Gallery (Godalming, Surrey).

The Gallery says that this is "a contrasting exhibition by Sarah Ollerenshaw and Sally Firino. Sally's work uses a single line to portray a place or a moment in time leaving space for the viewer to fill with their imagination, whereas Sarah's powerful images encourage the mind to think about passion, sacrifice and love."

Sarah's paintings, they suggest:

"are contemporary and yet they communicate a sense of age together with a timeless impression of sacrifice, hope and, fundamentally, of love. Sarah builds up each canvas layer by layer; they are then partly gilded before being waxed to a high finish. They are framed simply in white so as not to detract from the beauty of the work."

Monday 12 October 2009

Wildlife, myth & folklore

Celia Ward is currently exhibiting at the New End Gallery Hampstead in a show entitled "Wildlife, Myth and Folklore" which runs until 15th November. The Gallery write that:

"Celia Ward's pictures are beautiful. Whether it's her little egrets in their natural habitat at Stiffkey Marsh or wild violets in the wetlands, her pictures are more than just field guide illustrations but rather images that transport you into an enchanting world. Working in watercolour, tempera and gold she tells you stories of wildlife, myth and folklore, creating pictures of birds in flight, St. George and the Dragon, Romanian shamans and an alphabet gloriously belonging to the same ancient European tradition of manuscript illumination as the Book of Kells."

Saturday 10 October 2009

Sarah Ollerenshaw

Walking with the Father

In the Quiet

Sarah Ollerenshaw is an emerging artist with a background in fine art restoration. She studied Spanish and History of Art at Birmingham University and then took a postgraduate diploma at Christie's which led on to an apprenticeship in restoration and conservation. Throughout her studies and restoration work she has always painted.

Sarah creates a sub structure on the canvas and then builds up layers of paint. The canvases are then gilded in part, distressed and waxed to a high finish.

Sarah's paintings are contemporary and yet they communicate a sense of age together with a timeless impression of sacrifice, hope and, fundamentally, of love. They reflect on the tension created between loving God whilst living in and being of the world. They are emotive pieces which challenge and provoke new explorations of what it is to relate. Her influences include Spanish art from the Golden Age, mediaeval art and icons and religious imagery of early altarpieces.

Sarah writes:

"My pictures are a contemporary take on the portrayals of holy people and their varying visual emotions that we have experienced throughout the history of art. I love everything from the contorted agonies one sees in mediaeval altar pieces ... grief, compassion, love etc to the drama and intensity of the Spanish Golden Age painters (17th century), namely Ribera and Ribalta. My work is meant to convey a sense of age which is why I create the 'fresco effect' substructure and why I distress the gold much as I want them to look modern and fresh I also want them to look as though they have been seeped in history.

They are meant to be contemplable. They are meant to make you stop and think. They are meant to make you think about 'big' things such as what it means to love, what it means to sacrifice and most of all how we the viewer relate; not just to the picture itself but to those around us. It is this 'hyper reality' that I want to encourage; for the viewer to become the co-creator of the work and for my painting to challenge their present. By that I mean that the viewer, when standing in front of my work has the potential to see and experience love when he needs to see love, compassion when he needs compassion, even grief if he the viewer is suffering.
I am a Christian (Church of England) and am an active member of my church and my work stems from my love of God. It is incredibly important to me however that my works are accessible to everyone. They are meant to be emotive pieces which challenge us and provoke new exploration of what it is to relate."

Friday 9 October 2009

Regeneration arts project

Fr. Benjamin Wallace

Jonathan Evens has begun a new public art project in collaboration with Fr. Benjamin Wallace, Vicar of St Georges Barkingside.

The project involves photographing and painting the Gants Hill area on a roughly monthly basis during the period of its current regeneration. Jonathan's photographs will be posted on his blog and both their work will also be displayed at St Georges.

There is an open invitation to others to join them and their approach involves conversations with any local people known to them or showing interest in what they are doing while out and about photographing and painting the area. The next project date is Wednesday 21st October at 3.00pm - meet at St Georges Barkingside.

Caroline Richardson

'Tree of Life' - St Lukes Chapel, Queens Hospital Romford


Caroline Richardson studied Architectural Glass at Central Saint Martin’s School of Art and Design. She is particularly interested in using the colour and transparency of glass to create layers of images within her work, sometimes using light to add depth or colour. Caroline combines shapes and textures to create works inspired by natural themes, but often with a spiritual interpretation. She has also worked extensively with fabrics and silk paints and produced many banners and wall hangings.

Monday 5 October 2009

New press coverage

The current edition of The Month includes two articles covering our Queens Hospital commission and Henry Shelton's Stations of the Cross exhibition at St Barnabas Walthamstow.

The articles include a photo of Henry together with his granddaughter Amy and the painting Suffer the Children which they created together and which was included in the Sr Barnabas exhibition. Amy said "I enjoyed painting this with my grandad and want to be an artist when I grow up.”

Our second commission, a full set of fifteen new Stations of the Cross by Henry Shelton for St Pauls Goodmayes came one step closer to realisation last week when the project was granted a DAC certificate.