Friday 26 February 2010

New icons for Chelmsford Cathedral

At our Study Day in November Peter Judd, Dean of Chelmsford Cathedral, showed us cartoons for the icons which he had commissioned for Chelmsford Cathedral. The four icons have now been completed and installed. Philip Ritchie has a post on the icons here and the icons are also featured in the Church Times and The Month.

The new four icons have been painted by Orthodox Icon painters, who in true medieval style wish to remain anonymous as their offering to God. The four icons (170in x 55in) are of Mary, Jesus, St Peter and St Cedd (who brought the Christian faith to Essex in 654AD). They have been placed in windows on the north side of the chancel previously blocked off and blank for 70

Thursday 18 February 2010

Memorial: 'The Baptism of Jesus'

Rosalind and Michael Hore with 'The Baptism of Jesus'

Steve Simcox, Vicar of St Edmund's Tyseley with 'The Baptism of Jesus'

The Sanctuary of St Edmund's Tyseley
Jonathan Evens recently delivered Rosalind Hore's painting The Baptism of Jesus to St Edmund's Tyseley where it is to be hung as a memorial to his father, Revd. Phil Evens, a previous Vicar of the church.
The present incumbent, Revd. Steve Simcox, was thrilled to receive the painting and showed Jonathan where it is planned that the painting will be hung once the area has been redecorated. Their intention is that it will be the first thing seen by visitors to the church on entry to the worship space. Jonathan also discussed the possibility of a service of dedication for the painting which would incorporate service resources and other materials written and used by his father.

Monday 15 February 2010

Installations by Ally Clarke - 2. Agony of Hope

In it's original form the 'Agony of Hope' installation took the viewer through various different rooms and included film and drawing, as well as constructed elements. In summary, the work made use of the tree as a symbol of life and paper aeroplanes as a vehicle of individuals' hopes. Clearly, in being restaged, the work would need to be adapted to the venue but anyone interested in hosting this installation should contact commission4mission to discuss arrangements and options with Ally Clarke.

‘The Agony of Hope’ is a state of being we may experience at some point in our lives - the hope of rescue from danger, despair or pain, awaiting the fulfilment of a promise, the longing for a lover, a child ...

This hope can be cyclical - a weighty burden that seems to drag all aspects of life down with it and at other times, invigorating and inspirational and fuel for determination.

The imagery in this installation includes:
  • the tree; a symbol of life, safety, reliability and throwing from the tree - the launching and release of our hopes;
  • tubes hover and marks are made by the tree’s twigs, charting our pathway through our landscape as we commit to moving on;
  • a sense of being burdened by a dragging and painful load is suggested in the use of literal weights - writhing, dangling, twisting, stretching ... this state goes on until a final breaking through;
  • branches - broken elements from the tree become something new, something we can climb on to move upward to an unknown but enticing future. Paper air-planes become vehicles of our hopes. Each plane is personal and either literally or metaphorically, has our hopes inscribed. As a paper air-plane is launched, unsure how the design and currents will affect its flight, we too launch and release our hopes, motivated by the prospect of our hopes coming to fruition and more.

Installations by Ally Clarke - 1. Chosen Stones

For her first piece of work as Artist in Residence at the Bradfield Club, Ally Clarke wanted to create an artwork that in some way would enable her to become more connected to the Club - its origins, history and current contributors. In addition, she wanted to convey her heartfelt belief that the Bradfield Club is a special place and has a significant part to play in the realisation of a living, vibrant hope for the community in this time.

Everyone involved in the Bradfield Club was invited to give a stone for this artwork as a symbol of their connectedness to the Club. It was a real joy to receive each individually selected stone and Ally was deeply impressed by the thoughtfulness and generosity of the participants.

At the base of each of the twelve rising strands are stones from the Bradfield College - where the Club has its foundation and ongoing, essential support, along with stones from the immediate area around the Bradfield Club in Peckham. These link with other stones in the strands - an invisible connectedness - hinting at the unseen yet beautiful orchestration of God in and through our lives.

It was Ally's hope that in viewing the work those at the Bradfield Club would have a sense of wonder at their uniqueness and the invaluable contribution they make in their sphere of life and be able to delight in the fact that in wholesome alignment with God and others, an amazing living and eternal building project is taking place.

Now, assuming that space is available which could accommodate an installation, an exhibition with the 3D work 'Chosen Stones' and related 2D prints and mixed-media work can be made available by Ally at short notice. Please contact commission4mission if you would be interested in hosting this installation.

Sunday 7 February 2010

Helen Gould

Helen Gould with Michael Creasey and Henry Shelton

Helen Gould will begin working on events and strategic development for commission4mission this month.

Helen is currently an ordinand at the North Thames Ministerial Training Course and will be ordained as a Deacon in June. We have gained funding from London over the Border to enable us to employ Helen on a part-time basis from February - April and then, once in her curacy, she will continue to be able to give time to work for commission4mission.

Before beginning ordination training, Helen was Director of Creative Exchange, a charity which for ten years researched and advocated for the role of culture in development. The organisation built up an international network and completed projects exploring the role of culture in international development, HIV/AIDS, conflict and in the inclusion and integration of refugees and asylum seekers.

Creative Exchange was launched in 1998, following a meeting of artists, development practitioners and policymakers in London in May 1997 which called for the establishment of a network to share information about the role played by arts activities in international development and social policy.

It gained charitable status in 2000. Its charitable mandate – to advance public education about ways in which arts and culture help poor and disadvantaged people improve their quality of life – was specially devised by the Charity Commission since no other charity had previously served to promote the social role of the arts.

Creative Exchange activities helped people connect and share ideas and skills, learn about the use of culture and arts in social settings, and change and influence policy and practice. Creative Exchange worked with local practitioners and grassroots organisations, listening to their knowledge and wisdom of how culture works and influences in people and communities. This work opened up new avenues for enquiry on the ‘Affective’ nature of arts and culture – the way culture engages with our emotional make-up and enables us to engage, participate and learn.

Since becoming an ordinand, Helen has been the Development Worker at St Andrew's Leytonstone where she has been involved in setting up Café Refresh and its Reflect Arts programme. Helen organised the commission4mission exhibition and artist's networking evening held at St Andrew's in 2009 and the Tree of Life Arts programme to which several commission4mission artists contributed.