Saturday 24 July 2010

Reflect: Sergiy Shkanov

Sergiy Shkanov

Sergiy with visitors to the exhibition

'Easter Soon'

Sergiy Shkanov's summer exhibition at St Andrew's Leytonstone, part of the Reflect programme run by the church, will end after tomorrow's 10.00am Mass. The exhibition reflected aspects of the diversity of Sergiy's work with abstract, figurative and symbolic work all featuring. Born in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sergiy graduated from the Ukrainian Academy of Printing before studying stained glass and the restoration of oil paintings at Richmond College, London. He has taught at the Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture, participated in group shows across Europe, and held personal exhibitions in the UK. He writes: "My concern in art is as old as the world itself - to introduce to our world something that will not destroy, but construct it. The artist is like the emptiness of a flute, through which a sound goes resulting in the creation of music. In our contemporary world there is too much violence and too little love. There should be something to oppose this. I choose art as a means of resistance."

Thursday 22 July 2010

Robert Enoch

'Resurrection' at the Brightlights Festival

'The Cup at Gethsemene'

Robert Enoch makes art, films and photographs. His art is an exciting exploration of colour, form, movement and meaning. He makes artistic interpretations of the Bible in a visionary form, has made artistic installations for the church that visually explore and interpret the Gospels and has recently finished new work for the Brightlights Festival 2010. His recent films are a blend of social documentary and corporate video. In his photographs he searches the environment for images of piercing meaning among everyday things. Free is an on-going collection of photographs by Robert of the words FREE and FREEDOM. His entry in the ECVA Artists Registry can be viewed by clicking here.

Wednesday 21 July 2010

Go Well, Be Well

Ally Clarke

"Oh My Word" bottled water
Ally Clarke has been involved in several recent collaborative projects, the latest being a commissioned work for Camberwell Arts Week.
Oh My Word (Gillian Arnold, Ally Clarke, Claire Hart and Holly Robertson) charted the water flow from Camberwell’s ancient well through installation, printing and textile art. As well as highlighting aspects of Camberwell’s past, their work raised questions about marketing and how this affect our perceptions of an area – as well as the ongoing pursuit of health and well-being.
Ally writes that:
"The focus of the piece was referring back to a time when Camberwell was an aspirational destination for those seeking refreshment and it's healing waters. We linked this historical reference with the question for today "where can I get this healing water?" and produced 'merchandise' with the slogan "Go Well Be Well". It was great. We created our own branded water product and had it on display in local bars and cafes and staff in these venues wore tee shirts with the same slogan and we put our posters all around the town."

Saturday 17 July 2010

Commission dedication & networking afternoon

Bishop David, Fr. Ben Rutt-Field & Henry Shelton

Bishop David & Fr. Ben praying Station I

“For Christian art to have any significance and empathy it must be Spirit-driven, Spirit-imprinted. It should stimulate both our imaginations and our prayers.”

Such is the belief of Fr Benjamin Rutt-Field, Parish Priest of St Paul’s Goodmayes, who has both commissioned a new set of Stations of the Cross from noted religious artist, Henry Shelton, and written an original set of meditations to accompany the paintings.
The seed was sown by an elderly parishioner who gifted a generous sum for a new set of Stations and whose memory lives on in the dedication of the tryptich, incorporating Stations XI, XII and XIII, which, as altarpiece, forms the central focus of the scheme. This tryptich has inventively incorporated an existing metal crucifix into its design to form Station XII; 'Jesus dies on the cross'. There are 15 paintings in all, as the scheme includes a resurrection 'Station' depicting Christ present in the Eucharistic elements.

These, though, are not the only unusual elements of these Stations, in that, as part of its semi-abstract imagery, Christ is depicted throughout only by the Crown of Thorns. Fr. Rutt-Field notes that, “these Stations are known as the ‘Crown of Thorns’, rather than ‘The Cross’, because Jesus is depicted in each one as a simple, humble crown of thorns.”

Shelton says of his semi-abstract style and minimal flowing lines, that, “as I’ve got older I’ve learnt that ‘less is more’ and through the development of my work I’ve learnt to express emotion in a semi-abstract form.” This is why he paints; “it all goes back to feeling; the pathos of suffering.”

The power of art to evoke emotion is what originally inspired Shelton and which has sustained his work throughout his career:

“When I first saw the great Rembrandt’s in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the power of his images seemed to transcend time. The same thing attracted me to Christian Art as a choirboy at All Saints West Ham; the art spoke to me. I used to look at the altar and see images that were just so powerful. The images seemed to bring the past into the present and to form a profound link with the lineage of the past. I see myself as an artist trying in my small way to continue that lineage and my passion as a Christian artist is to keep that lineage alive in my generation as a witness.”

However, as an artist who often paints with the tones and harmonies of the Dutch Masters, this commission represents a considerable lightening of Shelton’s palette in order that the colour scheme of these 'Stations' harmonizes with the existing stained glass. At St Paul’s Goodmayes, Shelton's 'Stations' complement existing work, including stained glass by Sir Edward Burne-Jones, William Morris, and Leonard Evetts together with a Madonna and Child by Jane Quail, to create a feast of visual art for worshipper and visitor alike.

The commission is only the second to be completed by commission4mission, of which Shelton is both a founder member and the current Chairman. Shelton says, of commission4mission, “I want us to be offering quality work and craftsmanship, rather than mass-produced work, to continue the legacy of the Church as a great commissioner of art. The Church has, in fact, commissioned some of the greatest works of art ever produced.”

To have his work in churches, Shelton says, “really is the fulfilment of my life’s work.” He doesn’t have much ambition to show in galleries and says that, “the whole point for me is to create reaction and engage people; for people to enjoy and be moved by my work, just as I’ve been engaged by the work of other artists.”

His most recent pictures have all come to him in prayer as he has been meditating on particular Bible passages. Most of his work now comes through a meditational process and it is, perhaps, this quality of Shelton’s work to which Fr. Rutt-Field is responding when he says:

“I firmly believe that these new Stations of the Crown of Thorns, painted by a deeply committed Christian artist, are indeed both Spirit-driven and Spirit imprinted. They will greatly enhance and beautify the simple form and architectural lines of our parish church, as well as our worship.”

The Stations of the Crown of Thorns were dedicated by the Bishop of Barking today following a commission4mission networking afternoon which included presentations on their work by Bishop David, Michael Creasey, Caroline Richardson, Henry Shelton, and Joy Rousell Stone together with a update on the Barking Art Trail project by Mark Lewis.

Wednesday 14 July 2010

Summer exhibitions

'Nice To See You' by Sergiy Shkanov
'Trinity' by Sergiy Shkanov

Reflect at St Andrew's Leytonstone is to host a Summer Arts Exhibition by Sergiy Shkanov between 17th - 24th July from 12 noon - 2.00pm (closed Sunday 18th and Monday 19th). Originally from the Ukraine but now a local artist, Sergiy works with stained glass, murals, mosaics and painting. His work carries a powerful message about love and peace, and art as a means of opposing violence and anger. Entry is free and creative activities will also be held in St Andrew's community cafe, Refresh.
Caroline Richardson and Michael Creasey are to exhibit in BASH (Big Arts Submission Havering) at the Visual Arts Centre in Frances Bardsley School, Romford. BASH features four artists over four weeks at the Visual Arts Centre. Caroline will exhibit from 2nd - 6th August and Michael from 23 - 27th August.
Caroline's exhibition features layers of glass and light interacting in a collection of work inspired by natural themes. The exhibition opens on Monday 2nd with a launch night from 7-9.00pm. Tuesday to Friday opening times are 9.30am - 3.00pm.

Saturday 10 July 2010

Networking Afternoon

Our next commission4mission event is a networking afternoon on Saturday 17th July at St Paul's Goodmayes beginning at 2.00pm.

This event will enable each c4m member that wishes to to make a brief presentation about their work. To date, we are anticipating presentations by the Bishop of Barking, Colin Burns, Jonathan Evens, Mark Lewis, Caroline Richardson, Henry Shelton, and Joy Rousell Stone.

The networking event will be followed by the dedication of Henry Shelton's Stations of the Crown of Thorns from 4.00pm by the Bishop of Barking. This event will end with a buffet.

Henry's work at St Paul's features in the Art Trail created by the local cluster of Anglican churches with a route for visiting each church in turn which highlights artworks of interest in the four churches.

Monday 5 July 2010

c4m artists update (5)

Sergiy Shkanov will be exhibiting work at St Andrew's Leytonstone from 17th - 24th July while the Leytonstone Festival is underway.

Michael Creasey will be having a one man show at the Visual Arts Centre, Frances Bardsley School, Romford from August 23rd to 28th.

Jonathan Evens and Benjamin Rutt-Field have been involved in the development of a Church Art Trail involving four Anglican churches in the London Borough of Redbridge. Works by Henry Shelton feature in the Trail alongside works by Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Leonard Evetts, Anthony Foster, Derek Hunt, C. E. Kempe & Co. Ltd., William Morris, Jane Quail and A. Wyatt.
Creation of the Art Trail has been supported by Living Streets as part of the Fitter for Walking project and copies of the Art Trail leaflets can now be found in local churches. Fitter for Walking helps residents create streets they can be proud of. It’s funded by the Big Lottery Fund, along with contributions from local authorities to work in five areas of England.