Wikio - Top Blogs - Religion and belief

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Windows on the world (420)

London, 2018


Joan Baez - Diamonds And Rust.

Artlyst: Peter Howson - Acta Est Fabula

My latest piece for Artlyst is a review of Peter Howson's Acta Est Fabula at Flowers Gallery

'With this exhibition, we are immersed in scenes of degradation, imposed and sought out, within which occasional moments of self-realisation and awareness occur. This is common ground for Howson, whether in Glasgow, Bosnia or elsewhere; homo homini lupus (man is wolf to man) is consistently demonstrated throughout the world and throughout history. Howson stands with all those artists, such as Bosch, Goya, Dix and Rouault, who have sought to raise our gaze from the mire by painting the extent to which we are sinking in the mire. There is a strong apocalyptic strand to the images he is currently creating; apocalyptic imagery fuelled by the experience of Brexit and the wave of populism of which Brexit is a symptom and for which it was a catalyst.'

My other Artlyst articles and interviews are:

Fairport Convention - Who Knows Where The Time Goes.

Strange Days: Memories of the Future

“Strange Days: Memories of the Future” brings together video and film installations by twenty-one of today’s most radical image makers, all of whom have exhibited at the New Museum in the last ten years. Enigmatic and oracular, the works on view blend visuals and sound into polyphonic, dreamlike compositions that consider the power and fragility of images as the raw material of memory, reverie, and visions the future.

The works in “Strange Days” emphasize a fractured sense of time: history collides with the present, and future speculations are vexed by a distant past.

The exhibition includes Camille Henrot's Grosse Fatigue about which I have written for Artlyst:

'Camille Henrot’s single-channel video Grosse Fatigue blends together origin narratives from many cultures and disciplines combined with images of work, exhibits and spaces at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC, where, as part of the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, she was granted permission to film aspects of the collections. To these, she adds ‘images found on the internet and scenes filmed in locations as diverse as a pet store and a domestic interior that appear like pop-ups at the screen’s surface.

Henrot creatively layers origin accounts and imagery as a visual equivalent of the knowledge and wisdom juxtaposed within an Institute like the Smithsonian.'  

My review of "Strange Days" has been published in Church Times:

'Grosse Fatigue provides the perfect entry-point to an exhibition of 21 installations, which provide a dizzying more than 11 hours of filmed or videoed images. Just as Grosse Fatigue suggests that the universe and our human perceptions overwhelm and exceed our understanding, so the breadth of this exhibition replicates that experience.'


Bruce Cockburn - Creation Dream.

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Inspired to Follow: Art & the Bible Story - Advent Courses

‘Inspired to Follow: Art & the Bible Story’ is a free resource prepared by St Martin-in-the-Fields to help people explore the Christian faith, using paintings and Biblical story as the starting points. It’s been designed as a 22-week course over three terms (although the materials can be used for shorter courses too), and uses fine art paintings in the National Gallery’s collection, along with a theological reflection and a Biblical text, as a spring board for exploring these two questions: How can I deepen my faith in God? What does it mean to follow Jesus today? For more information, see

This Autumn, we have added to the existing materials two Advent Courses of four sessions each. The first addresses the Last Things, the traditional Advent themes of Death, Judgement, Heaven & Hell, while the second covers the following Advent Characters: Elizabeth & Mary; Joseph; Zechariah & Elizabeth; and Herod.

As always with ‘Inspired to Follow: Art & the Bible Story’, these courses use fine art paintings in the National Gallery’s collection. The Last Things course includes: ‘The Lamentation over the Dead Christ’ – Rembrandt; ‘Saint Michael’ - Carlo Crivelli; ‘Christ Glorified in the Court of Heaven; central predella panel’ - probably by Fra Angelico; and ‘The Rich Man being led to Hell’ - David Teniers the Younger. The Advent Characters course includes: ‘The Visitation of the Virgin to Saint Elizabeth’ - Workshop of Goossen van der Weyden; ‘The Dream of Saint Joseph’ - Philippe de Champaigne; ‘The Naming of Saint John the Baptist’ - Barent Fabritius; and ‘The Massacre of the Innocents with Herod’ - Gerolamo Mocetto. The materials are available to be downloaded via the link above, as with the existing materials.

We hope you will find these additions to ‘Inspired to Follow: Art & the Bible Story’ a helpful addition to the site and a useful resource in your churches or parishes.

At St Martin-in-the-Fields we began using ‘Inspired to Follow Advent Course - the Four Last Things: death, judgement, heaven and hell'. This new programme of hour-long gatherings over four Sundays explores the Four Last Things using the following passages and paintings:
  • 4 November Death - Mark 15:33-45 / ‘The Lamentation over the Dead Christ’ Rembrandt
  • 18 November Judgement - Revelation 12:7-17 / ‘Saint Michael’ Carlo Crivelli
  • 2 December Heaven - Revelation 21:1-5, 9-11, 22-27, 22:1-5 / ‘Christ Glorified in the Court of Heaven; central predella panel’ probably by Fra Angelico
  • 16 December Hell - Luke 16:19-30 / ‘The Rich Man being led to Hell’ David Teniers the Younger 
All these sessions are at 12.00-1.00pm on Sundays, Austen Williams Room, 4 & 18 November, 2 & 16 December.


Monday, 5 November 2018

The meaning of decoration on Chinese ceramics

St Martin-in-the-Fields, together with the Chinese Speaking Congregations of St Martin's, is organising an occasional series of art talks focusing on aspects of Chinese Art. The third lecture in this series will be on 'The meaning of decoration on Chinese Ceramics' and will be given by Rosemary Scott on Thursday 17 January 2019, 6.30pm in St Martin’s Hall, St Martin-in-the-Fields. This will be an illustrated talk (in English).

Rosemary Scott took an honours degree in Chinese Art & Archaeology at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, where she went on to do postgraduate research. On leaving university she joined the Burrell Collection in Glasgow as Assistant Keeper for Oriental art. She became Deputy Keeper of the whole collection a year later. Her next appointment was as Curator of the Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art, SOAS, combining the running of the museum with undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and research. In 1995 she became the first Head of the new Museums Department at SOAS, responsible for both the David Foundation and the new Brunei Gallery.

In 1997 she joined Christie's and is currently Senior International Academic Consultant to the Asian Art departments, undertaking research, publication, lecturing and training. She has curated a wide range of exhibitions, and has researched and written numerous books and articles on the Chinese decorative arts. She has travelled widely in East Asia, America and Europe lecturing and undertaking research. She is a former President of the Oriental Ceramic Society, London.

The talk will be held in St Martin's Hall, within the Crypt of St Martin's, and will begin at 6.30pm for one hour. The talk will be followed by a drinks reception in the Bishop Ho Ming Wah Association and Community Centre.

All are very welcome – for further information contact Jonathan Evens – t: 020 7766 1127, e:


Qu Xiao-Song - Drums of Xi.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

ArtWay meditation: NIcola Green

In my latest Visual Meditation for ArtWay I reflect on the faceless portraits of global religious leaders by Nicola Green which can currently be seen at St Martin-in-the-Fields:

'Green has noted that all the religious leaders she has met share the feeling that no one takes much notice of them. Maybe her faceless portraits reflect this sense that they are overlooked and ignored. Many religions, however, encourage adherents to nurture humility in response to the divine. C.S. Lewis wrote that the humble are not thinking about humility, rather they are not thinking about themselves at all. It could be that Green’s religious leaders exemplify this understanding and that her faceless depictions reflect this.'

My other ArtWay meditations include work by María Inés Aguirre, Giampaolo Babetto, Marian Bohusz-Szyszko, Alexander de CadenetChristopher Clack, Marlene Dumas, Terry Ffyffe, Antoni Gaudi, Maciej Hoffman, Giacomo Manzù, Michael Pendry, Maurice Novarina, Regan O'Callaghan, Ana Maria Pacheco, John Piper, Albert Servaes, Henry Shelton and Anna Sikorska.


Windows on the world (419)

London, 2018


Bob Dylan - Tangled Up In Blue.