Tuesday 18 December 2012

Mari Hayman

Pitton Methodist Chapel, near Rhossili


Mari Hayman is an experienced, well motivated artist and teacher with a studio in Swansea. She makes versatile use of a variety of media and processes producing individual and collaborative work on both a small and large scale. She draws from life and paints in all media with her subjects including landscapes, seascapes, people etc. In addition, she makes panels for churches and homes, stained glass windows, mosaics and also undertakes community work. She enjoys co-operating  with people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds and has successfully completed community and educational projects in the U.K. and abroad.

Monday 17 December 2012

Hayley Bowen

Death of an Empire Butterfly

The Kiss

Hayley Bowen was born in Carmarthen South West Wales and grew up in the valley of Gwendraeth opposite Pentremawr colliery. She always wanted to be a 'great Artist' but was brought up being told she would not achieve her goals. She studied art at Dyfed College of Art and then illustration at Cambridgeshire College of Art and Technology. She has worked as a freelance artist, dressmaker/craft worker, art technician and art tutor. She has also worked voluntarily on many exhibitions, most memorably the Dora Gordine retrospective.

She exhibits annually with a local group and her work is in many collections. She has made artwork for television, and lately has been exhibiting with The Workshop, a pop up shop run by Kingston University Alumni, where she has also studied 'History of Art and Architecture and Design'. She also has work at the Market House in Kingston. 

Hayley says, "I now want to carry on making improvements and to contribute more to my craft, to exhibit and to produce more work and hopefully in some way enhance peoples lives by sharing with them the enjoyment and magic of visual art, which is something that has played a major part in my life, in the appreciation and love of the work of all the old (and new) masters, and also in my case, wanting the pleasure of completing a job well done."

Thursday 13 December 2012

franciscan: three articles

Three commission4mission members have written articles on the arts for the latest edition of franciscan, which is published three times a year by the First Order brothers and sisters and includes articles on Franciscan themes, as well as book reviews and news of the Society.

The three articles are:
The article by Jonathan features the work of Ally Clarke, Caroline Richardson and Sergiy Shkanov while Helen's piece includes interviews with Mark Lewis, Henry Shelton and Peter Webb.

To order a copy of the magazine contact the subscriptions secretary at franciscansubscriptions@franciscans.org.uk.

Monday 10 December 2012

Response to 'Incarnation'

Midnight Church by Elizabeth Duncan Meyer

Transforming Power by Caroline Richardson

Wendy McTernan curated and organised an excellent commission4mission exhibition at Wimbledon Library Gallery. Those who came appreciated the look and feel of the show, our invigilators had several valuable conversations with those who came, we also made a number of new contacts and gained new members. Midnight Church by Elizabeth Duncan Meyer and Transforming Power by Caroline Richardson were amongst several works which sold.

Eyes on Jesus

Christopher Clack and Jonathan Evens feature in a new Dutch book entitled Jezus voor ogen (Eyes on Jesus) with visual meditations and word and image Bible studies for Lent. The visual meditations have all featured previously on the ArtWay website and include the meditation which Jonathan Evens wrote on Christopher Clack's Descent II.

Marleen Hengelaar-Rookmaaker, who edited the book, writes:

"For us this book is a milestone that marks what ArtWay has been given to accomplish in the past two years. The book will hopefully function as a springboard to a new and broader audience, so that the website and its resources will be used by even more people and churches. We hope that an English version will be published next year.

In Jezus voor ogen the focus is on Jesus. While working on the book it struck me that images of Jesus can start to function as ‘models’ to us. In the book I expressed this as follows:

‘Jesus hangs on the cross as the image of the ideal human being. This is how humans are meant to be: full of love, obedient to the Father, willing to serve and suffer, resisting temptations, putting others above oneself. If we are honest, this is not really our idea of an ultimate hero. For this very reason it is of such great importance to keep on feeding ourselves with this and other images of Jesus. For deep inside of us live all kinds of other ideal images that drive us and that we bow to time and again, because they are our idols. Our ideal picture of our successful self: the slim figure, the imposing house, the fat car, the ideal partner, the golden job, the huge happiness. Christian art can replace these with new ideal images that can help us to become people of unified character: people whose inside corresponds with their outside, whose deeds rhyme with their words – people for whom Jesus on the cross is a source of inspiration for who they want to become and be.’"

Thursday 6 December 2012

Member's update: Henry Shelton and Jonathan Evens

The Passion: Reflections and Prayers with images by Henry Shelton and words by Jonathan Evens is now available from The Seed as a pdf, powerpoint presentation and as individual images.

These pictures, poems and prayers enable us to follow Jesus on his journey to the cross reflecting both on the significance and the pain of that journey as we do so. With this series Henry and Jonathan have aimed to pare down the images and words to their emotional and theological core. The mark making and imagery is minimal but they hope in a way that makes maximum impact.

The Passion is the second series by Henry and Jonathan to be available through The Seed. The first, Mark of the Cross, was described by Steve Santry on Revster's Ramblings as "Stunning artwork and thought provoking words [which] open up the events around Easter in a new and imaginative way."

The Seed and seedresources.com is a collaboration between the Leaders of Worship and Preachers Trust (LWPT) and Twelvebaskets Ltd.

In 2010 Henry Shelton completed a commission for Stations of the Crown of Thorns at St Paul's Goodmayes. Parish priest Fr. Benjamin Rutt-Field wrote meditations for this set of Stations and has now published these together with photographs of Henry's Stations. Copies of this booklet can be obtained from Fr. Ben on b.ruttfield@btinternet.com.

In addition to Henry Shelton, other commission4mission members with completed sets of Stations of the Cross include Valerie Dean and Rosalind Hore. Valerie's Stations have a very clear and intense focus on details which are evocative of the whole, as can be seen from the photographs she has taken of the set which can be viewed here. Click here and here for photographs of exhibitions featuring Rosalind's Stations. Henry, Valerie and Rosalind are all keen to discuss ways of making these Stations available for any church that would be interested in having them. Contact Jonathan Evens on jonathan.evens@btinternet.com for more information. 

Tuesday 4 December 2012

Caroline Nina Phillips



The urban landscape has been a source of fascination, inspiration and a recurring theme throughout the work of Caroline Nina Phillips. Observational drawings and camera snapshots of the local urban environment are used as starting points for these layered, painterly works. Particularly favoured focal points are construction sites; building works; passageways and stairways. Noticeably, the chosen places are those which could be easily overlooked. It is through experiencing; looking; recording and reflecting upon such particular spaces, that Caroline Nina captures their existence and essence.

Many of the paintings are suggestive; openings entice as barriers block. Stairwells guide the viewer’s gaze from one implied space to another – beyond the physical boundary of the painting. Attracted to specific spaces that offer this potential for imagining; Caroline Nina Phillips contemplates what can be seen and the possibilities of what remains unseen. Features fascinate and draw her in with their depth and intensity. Captivated by the real, raw, gritty surfaces and atmosphere of many of the places she chooses to paint, Caroline Nina aims to evoke such qualities through her diverse colour choices and expressive, textural handling of the paint.

Oils are scraped, layered, removed; smeared, worked and reworked again and again- indicative in many ways of the process of building; of time passing; of ageing; deterioration; breaking down and of revival; reconstruction; of turning something old; damaged or worn, into something new.

Ken Ashby


Christ Over Creation

Ken Ashby studied Fine Art at Camberwell School of Art in the late 1960's and, apart from a series of successful murals, hadn't painted seriously until more recent years.

He considers himself to be of the romantic school of art, responding to the beauty he sees around him and painting in different styles depending on the subject itself. He draws influences from many different quarters and also paints in response to modern ugliness, whether it is torture, terrorism or environmental disaster/global warming.

Monday 3 December 2012

Private View: 'Incarnation'

commission4mission's South London launch took place tonight at a well attended Private View for our Christmas exhibition entitled 'Incarnation'. We were encouraged by the interest shown by all who came both in the conversations that took place and in the works that were sold. 

The exhibition, which had curated by Wendy McTernan, can be seen at Wimbledon Library Gallery (1st floor, Wimbledon Library, Wimbledon Hill Road, London SW19 7NB) and includes the work of 16 artists in media including ceramics, fused glass, paintings and photography. The exhibition continues until Saturday 8th December, 9.30am - 7.00pm (2.00pm on Saturday) with access through the Library. A second Private View will be held tomorrow from 6.30 - 9.30pm. All are welcome.

Those exhibiting are Harvey Bradley, Colin Burns, Christopher Clack, Ally Clarke, Valerie Dean, Elizabeth Duncan-Meyer, Jonathan Evens, Ken James, Sarah Ollerenshaw, Caroline Richardson, Janet Roberts, Francesca Ross, Henry Shelton, Sergiy Shkanov, Joy Rousell Stone and Peter Webb.

In launching commission4mission in South London, Jonathan Evens, c4m's secretary, said the following:

commission4mission was launched in March 2009 by our Patron, the Bishop of Barking, to encourage the commissioning and placing of contemporary Christian Art in churches, as a means of fundraising for charities and as a mission opportunity for churches.

We aim to:

·                    provide opportunities for churches to obtain and commission contemporary Christian Art for church buildings;
·                    provide information, ideas and examples of contemporary Christian Art and its use/display within church settings; and
·                    raise funds for charities through commissions and sales of contemporary Christian Art. 

In the short time that commission4mission has been in existence we have:

·                    built up a pool of over 30 artists available for Church commissions;
·                    developed a blog profiling our artists and giving up-to-date news of our activities;
·                    completed of 10 commissions;
·                    organised 13 exhibitions, two Study Days, three art workshops, several performance and networking events for members;
·                    created an Art Trail for the Barking Episcopal Area;
·                    worked in partnership with two other arts organisations (Christian Artist’s Networking Association & Veritasse) to create an Olympic-themed art project – Run With The Fire; and
·                    published several sets of images and meditations primarily with a Lenten or Passiontide focus.

We seek to be a proactive organisation for both the artists and the churches with which we work. For our artists we regularly provide information updates and networking opportunities as well as actively promoting their work through our blog, events and exhibitions. This ensures that they feel connected to one another and the wider faith and arts scene as well as benefiting from the support and ideas of fellow members. For churches, we actively provide opportunities to think about the possibility of commissioning contemporary art by seeing and considering the work of our artists and by suggesting ways to overcome some of the barriers which sometimes seem to stand in the way of new commissions such as finances and the differing tastes of church members. 

Why do we do what we do? Fundamentally, I would want to say that there is a Trinitarian underpinning to what we do. Firstly, that we are creative because we are made in the image of our Creator. That, as Dorothy L. Sayers reminded us in her book The Mind of the Maker, to be made in the image of God means that we are most like God when we are being creative. Secondly, that it is the Holy Spirit who gives skill to craftspeople and artists. The first Spirit-filled man in the Bible, Bezalel, was chosen by God to be skilled, knowledgeable and able to teach in all kinds of craftsmanship. So, to be biblically inspired is to make. Thirdly, that because God became truly human in Jesus we can represent his human nature as with any other member of the human race. So that, if we paint a picture of Jesus, we’re not trying to show a humanity apart from divine life but a humanity soaked through with divine life.

Next, I would want to say that the Arts are in many ways foundational to all that occurs in Church. Very briefly, we can say that:

         the Architecture of our churches provides a designed context and stage for the worship that occurs within them;
         we re-enact Biblical narratives through the poetry of the liturgy;
         music in church provides composed expressions of emotions and stories in and through song; and
         images in churches re-tell Biblical narratives and open windows into the divine.

Finally, we would also say that the Arts contribute to the mission of the Church by:

         speaking eloquently of the faith;
         providing a reason to visit a church – something we have tapped with our Art Trail for the Barking Episcopal Area;
         making links between churches and local arts organisations/ initiatives; and
         providing a focus for people to come together for a shared activity.

These then are key reasons why, in commission4mission, we seek to encourage the commissioning and placing of contemporary Christian Art in churches.

I would like to end with a poem by the German kinetic sculptor Heinz Mack who has had much experience of trying to work in and with Catholic chapels in Germany:

“Church art is not always art.
Art that happens to be placed in church, is art in the church,
But not Church art.
Church art that is shown in museums, remains church art in museums.
Art for the Church is not always regarded as art by the Church.
The Church does not always want art.
Art is art without the Church.
Great Church art is art in the church and for the church.”

In seeking to encourage the commissioning and placing of contemporary Christian Art in churches, commission4mission is aiming to be about “art in the church and for the church.”