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Monday, 25 May 2015

Via Cordis – The Way of the Heart

St Stephen Walbrook is to host an exhibition of ceramics & paintings by María Inés Aguirre (MIA) entitled 'Via Cordis – The Way of the Heart' (Monday 8th – Friday 26th June, 10.00am – 4.00pm). An exhibition reception is being held with MIA on Monday 15th June, 6.30pm, at which I will speak about 'Art as Gift'. All are welcome.

Each painting, MIA says, “is a solar flare of colours” where every colour is an emotion. The critic Pierre Restany identified the distinctive quality of MIA’s art as having its roots in her emotional life which then manifests itself in “the exuberance and spontaneity of her painting.”

MIA has spoken of risk and adventure, and the resulting spontaneity, as being key to her art. Her work fuses colour, music, emotion and nature in “a sun-burst of colour, of joy and imagination.”

As Michael Hutchinson-Uzielli has noted, this means that "Mia's paintings map her emotions and imagination, with colour, texture and sinuous lines depicting the landscape of her thoughts.” Her work is, therefore, cartography of the heart or soul, as she, herself, has suggested in selecting the title ‘Via Cordis: The Way of the Heart’ for this show.

MIA says the following words of Paul Klee, from 1918, describe her own creative process: “Everything around me dissolves and interesting works emerge as if of their own accord. My hand is entirely the instrument of a distant sphere. It isnʼt my head that is working, but something else, something higher, something somewhere more remote. I must have great friends out there – obscure, but also brilliant - and theyʼre all very good to me.”

MIA’s identification with Klee’s description of creativity as involving a sense of giftedness from a higher force helps us in understanding the emotional impact of her work more fully. As a result, we could either see the emotions she maps in her work as being divinely inspired or think that by following and depicting those emotions she taps into the divine.

Her work has connected with traditional religious iconography, although not with traditional outcomes. Her ‘Via Crucis’, ‘Via Lucis’ and now ‘Via Cordis’ exhibitions have engaged with the imagery of the ‘Stations of the Cross’, the ‘Path of Light’ and now the ‘Way of the Heart’. Through these series she has reflected on emotions provoked by the Passion of Christ while seeing that narrative as also representing the different moods of modern man.

These are works to contemplate as, through energy of line and brilliance of colour (that “sun-burst of joy and imagination”), they refresh the soul.

MIA studied Fine Art at the University of Tucumán (Argentina) and the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice. She has exhibited in Europe, Asia and the Americas and has shows later this year in Hong Kong, France and Argentina. Her work stands out for its colour, energy and spontaneity. Her fascination with the connections between music and colour led her to become the first visual artist in residence at Steinway & Sons, London, where she transformed a Steinway Model D concert grand piano into 'Dancing Soul'. She is represented by ArtMoorHouse - Moor House, 120 London Wall, London, EC2Y 5ET. Tel: +44(0)7502211914. Email: Web:

St Stephen Walbrook – Tel: 020 7626 9000. Email: Web:


The Civil Wars - Sacred Heart.

Temple: a crisis of faith

Temple is a new play by Steve Waters at the Donmar Warehouse which is a fictional account inspired by the Occupy London movement in 2011.

On 15 October 2011 Occupy London makes camp outside St Paul’s Cathedral. On 21 October 2011 a building that had kept open through floods, the Blitz and terrorist threats closes its doors. On 28 October City of London initiates legal action against Occupy to begin removing them from outside the Cathedral ...

Set in the heart of a very British crisis, the play explores a crisis of conscience, a crisis of authority and a crisis of faith.

Giles Fraser, who was at the centre of these events, writes about them in today's Guardian as exploring "a theological question that takes us back to the very foundations of the Christian faith"; the tension, inherent within the Christian faith, "between swapping the rags of the oppressed for the ermine of high office."

Fraser suggests that it is if the play captures something of this theological dynamic, with justification on both sides, that it will have succeeded.


Saturday, 23 May 2015

Greenwich views


Rickie Lee Jones - The Moon Is Made Of Gold.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Windows on the world (342)

Isafie, 2014


Paul Mealor - Peace.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Update: Sophia Hub Seven Kings

Ros Southern writes:

'Very pleased to announce that there will be a Saturday Pop-up outside Seven Kings station in June. Looking for stalls and more. Info here.

Thanks to Barkingside 21 for blogging about local business week and mentioning Sophia Hubs! Read blog here.

Looking forward to Tuesday's enterprise club with experienced business advisor Liam Hickey on loans, premises and much more. Info here

We are taking bookings for the next exciting Timebank skills swap on Saturday 6 June. Info here

Thanks to Mark Braniff for being speaker this week and leading an arty, deep and really helpful session. Click here for info and pics.

Please do check out green business directory and see who's missing.

Looking forward to our appearance at the Redbridge Council Fairness Commission on Tuesday.

And finally - we have a Redbridge staycation health farm day on Wednesday 17th June. Info to follow.'


Mark of the Cross

'The cross is a symbol for the human face. Step in front of a mirror, take a look at your face: you will see a cross marked within, wherever it may be.'

(Arnulf Rainer, quoted in Kreuze)

Mark of the Cross 


Your face, set like flint,
set towards Jerusalem,
bears the mark of the cross.
You carry the cross
in the resolution
written on
your features.
Death is the choice,
the decision,
the destiny,
in the blood,
sweat and tears
secreted from
your face
in prayerful questions,
prophetic grief,
pain-full acceptance,
imprinted on
Veronica’s veil.

(from Mark of the Cross by Henry Shelton and Jonathan Evens)


Shaped and defined by Jesus

One of the big dilemma’s parent’s face is how to enable their children to become independent and make their own way in the world. At the point that their children ’leave the nest,’ parents have understandable worries about the extent to which their children will cope in the ‘real world’ and what the world will do to their children. While we know that life in the ‘real world’ involves confronting challenges and, at times, dangers, we know too that children cannot be kept ‘wrapped in cotton wool’; they have to be enabled to mature into adults and developing independence from those who have nurtured them as children is an important element in maturing.

In Acts 20.28–end and John 17.11–19, we hear Jesus and Paul expressing similar anxieties in relation to the disciples and churches that they are leaving behind. Jesus prays for God the Father to protect the disciples in a world which may hate them and to which they do not fully belong. Similarly, Paul commends his churches to God expecting that, at times, they will be attacked by savage wolves.

Their sense is that the world can be a conflicted place for Christians and we might therefore expect them to pray that we should be kept entirely away from danger. Instead, just as parents can ultimately do more harm to their children by keeping them cooped up at home, so the place Jesus and Paul want Christians to be is in the world, despite its dangers, but for us to be shaped by God there, and not by the world. That seems to be what Jesus means when he says that his disciples do not belong to the world, just as he does not belong to the world.

Eugene Petersen, in his paraphrase of this passage, puts it like this: “I gave them your word; the godless world hated them because of it, because they didn’t join the world’s ways, just as I didn’t join the world’s ways. I’m not asking that you take them out of the world but that you guard them from the Evil One. They are no more defined by the world than I am defined by the world. Make them holy—consecrated—with the truth; your word is consecrating truth.”

In these passages, both Jesus and Paul spoke of Christians as sanctified. To be sanctified, as Eugene Peterson, makes clear is to be shaped and defined by God (his word and the message of his grace), rather than shaped and defined by the world. If Christianity means anything and makes any difference in the world then it must be because we live and act differently as a result of its influence.

In the Diocese of Chelmsford, where I ministered before coming to St Martin-in-the-Fields, the Diocesan strategy is called ‘Transforming Presence’ and is based on that same thought that “there should be something distinctive and attractive about the way we live our lives,” as, “if our lives are indistinguishable from anyone else’s it is little wonder that people conclude that the Christian faith is our hobby; a fascinating and exhausting pastime, but not the life changing transformation that is evident in the lives we lead Monday to Saturday.”

That is the prayer of Jesus and Paul, in these passages, that we grow as Christians by living in the ‘real world’ but shaped and defined (consecrated) by the Spirit and words of Jesus as we do so. As a result, instead of our lives being shaped and defined by the world, we become a transforming presence for Christ within the world.


Delirious? - Paint The Town Red.