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Friday, 11 November 2016

Hidden St Martin's

This exhibition for the Patronal Festival of St Martin-in-the-Fields by artists and craftspeople from the congregation reflects on the theme of 'Hidden St Martins' from a variety of different perspectives using ceramics, drawings, film, paintings, photographs, text and textiles.

We have been inspired by:
  • St Martin, who noticed the destitute man at the gate of the city of Amiens.
  • Jesus suggests that giving and praying can be done in secret away from the public gaze (Matt 6). Many of the images of the kingdom use seemingly insigni´Čücant and often unnoticed things such as a mustard seed (Mark 4) and yeast (Luke 13) and yet both eventually have dramatic effects. 
  • The Celtic idea of a thin place, a place where the veil between heaven and earth is thin so what is hidden becomes seen.
  • Artists “notice things that other people don’t notice.” (Grayson Perry)
In his 360• film, Jonathan Kearney enables us to explore parts of the Church which are usually hidden from view. His other film reveals the beauty of small details which we normally overlook in our busyness or inattention to our surroundings. Photographs of St Martin's taken by Jonathan Evens hint at a hidden beyond, by using an object in the foreground to frame a background image. Black and white matt bowls by Alice Bree highlight overlooked or under-appreciated objects through their depiction of stones from a Cornish beach.

Ali Lyon reclaims hidden aspects of St Martin's recent past with a lectern fall and a photograph of an altar cloth from the period during the Renewal Project when St Martin's was 'on tour'. The fall uses material left after the ‘living stones’ which cover the altar cloth have been cut from the cloth. The fall gathers up the leftovers that would have been thrown away. In God's economy nothing is too hidden or insignificant to find its place and to be of use. Vicky Howard’s drawings in lined notebooks or on pamphlets derive from a similar impetus. Vicky uses the lines or text as a guide to the patterns that she makes. Through the organic, shifting, ever-changing structures of her drawings she is searching for the form of the shelter in which God will hide us (Psalm 27).

Jon Sandford depicts the divine or heavenly as being hidden at St Martin's in the form of our East Window. The message of Jon's image is hidden in its symbolism, waiting to be decoded. Brian Mears’ explores the invisible qualities of eternal power and divine nature in his painting entitled ‘The Fourth Day’. In Rosalind Beeton’s paintings light, as flecks and dashes of colour, veils the subjects and objects bathing all in divine light. The veil that once hid the divine has been removed and all that was once independent and distinct is now embraced by divinity. Her poetry also explores mystery as in 'The Gatherer', written this year on Patmos, the island of revelation.

St Martin’s has an ongoing ministry of supporting homeless and vulnerably housed people across the UK. Zi Ling’s painting ‘Hope’ from her homelessness series brings to our view people who are often overlooked on our streets. Lightspirit has contributed a poem from the streets, while the ‘Palm Tree’ painted by Rosida Simrick is a reminder of the hidden home that she can no longer see. Our inspiration for this ministry with those who are homeless is the story of St Martin. Jonathan Evens’ collage with a torn meditation on St Martin is a visual reminder of the cloak which St Martin tore to give half to the man at the gate of Amiens.

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Leonard Cohen - Travelling Light.

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