Bishop Street Methodist Church

Art at the Chapel Explorations into Art and Spirituality


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Jesus the Refugee and Present Day Asylum Seekers

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“…no crib for a bed, the little Lord Jesus lay down his sweet head…”

Did you know that according to the Bible, Jesus was effectively homeless three times in his life? The first time was when he was born, the second time was shortly after his birth when his family had to flee for his safety, and the third time was when he was an adult travelling from village to village with no fixed abode.

Refugees have been in the news a great deal over the last few years.  Each of us will have seen pictures in the news of mothers, fathers and children forced from their homes and risking their lives to get to safety. Mary, Joseph and Jesus were in a very similar situation to the refugees we see in the news.

The weeks leading up to Christmas, and Christmas itself, can feel like a very cosy and ‘enchanting’ time of year. The story of God coming to earth in Jesus is very beautiful but it is also full of a lot of suffering and danger. After the three wise men visited King Herod on their way to baby Jesus, King Herod had all the boys under two years old in the area killed! Angels appeared to the shepherds announcing the news of the special birth of Jesus, but a few months later an angel appeared to Joseph with less joyful news. The angel told him to flee to another country immediately to avoid the young Jesus being murdered!

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Christmas Crafts 2016

We had a great time making these Nativity themed Christmas decorations at our drop-in craft sessions at Bishop Street. If you want to find out how we made them please click on the link below for a pdf with full instructions.

The crafts were chosen to offer a range of activities for all ages and abilities and we enjoyed sharing the company and conversation of all who came along to have a go.

CLICK HERE FOR CHRISTMAS CRAFT INSTRUCTIONS 

Click here for Nativity Finger puppet instructions and free download 

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Poetry Workshop

Journey’s … in Translation

We were very happy to welcome Ambrose Musiyiwa who led a fascinating and thought provoking poetry translation workshop at Bishop Street last week. Engaging with the poems from ‘Over land, over sea’ in this particular and unique way led to very interesting discoveries and insights. It also allowed us to connect to the poems and the subjects they covered such as, journeys, belonging, feeling or not feeling welcome and the concept of home. The workshop went perfectly with our current exhibition No Crib for a Bed which also seeks to challenge us to imagine what we ourselves would feel like if we were forced to flee our homes and travel to an unknown country in order to try and keep ourselves and families safe.

 – Please scroll down to see photos taken by Ambrose Musiyiwa

and read his press release about this event –

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Alan Caine Paintings and Drawings November 2016

LEAVES / GRASS


alan-caine-stompedGlory be to God for dappled things-

For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;

For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;

Fresh-firecoal, chestnut-falls, finches wings;

Landscape plotted and pieced–fold, fallow, and plough;

And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare strange;

Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)

With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;

He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

           Praise him.

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In our climate, leaves present themselves almost anywhere. Their life cycles pass from tiny buds to full-grown presences. They can turn into strange shapes, colourful and curled. Seasons pass, and they change. So, too with grasses, but they tend to be more subtle as they grow and wither. If we ignore the tended lawn, tall sword-like clusters can appear. A whole field of grass – or weeds – growing or dying, changes colours and passes from stage to stage.

Drawings or paintings are not  ‘snapshots’ of things which nature ‘does’. They are meant to release to the viewer, like music, sensations of energy, delight or even piety. They do not need to be named. To draw them again and again, sometimes like dancers, sometimes sober or silent presences, sometimes as almost chaotic carriers of visceral energy can become a preoccupation for weeks or months. Their spirit, I hope, has been ‘digested’ rather than copied.

My childhood took place in North Dakota, a state with a flat topography – where often nothing except perhaps a water tower can be seen on the horizon. We played in nearby fields among tall grasses – and could hide in them. Perhaps that is one of the sources of my delight at their shapes. And leaves? Scarce or plentiful they speak of birth and life and often of elegant disintegration. Gerard Manley Hopkins points to this sort of beauty in the poem above.

 

Alan Caine

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