Political Posters and a different kind of kingdom

Earlier this year Wolverhampton Art Gallery played host to a V&A collection titled ‘A World to Win: Posters of Protest and Revolution’. The exhibition chiefly looks at posters that have contributed to historical and perceptive change in the general public. The power of many of the posters lies in their ability to combine text and image…

Michelangelo, character and community

At the age of 72 Michelangelo began work on a pietà (a work depicting Jesus dead after being taken down from the cross), probably for his own tomb in Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. Unlike his previous pietà which depicted Mary holding the body of Jesus across her lap, this one showed Mary and Mary…

An Honest Approach to the Arts

Being creative is a risky business. It leaves you exposed, vulnerable, open to misunderstanding, scorn and ridicule. You cannot be honest in your art without revealing something of yourself. And (and this is the tricky bit) it’s not how you would like to be, but who you really are – shy away from that and…

Kan Xuan: Pound… Pound… Pound

Whenever I return home to Birmingham after a few months away, I am always impressed by the amount of quality art displayed across the city. Before I focus in on one specific work in the IKON gallery, I would like to recommend Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery’s Turning To See exhibition curated by artist John…

Church Art Projects- A Bluffer’s Guide (pt 2)

So, on the back of our church’s Big Story art project going live online, I’ve decided to share some lessons I’ve learnt from this and a few other church art projects. In the last post, I covered the importance of working out what you’re trying to achieve and also the thorny issue of how you actually…

No really, Can Maps be Art?

In the last post on Art as Mapping, I floated about the general idea that art can be considered through the form of mapping. Since then I visited the New Art Gallery, Walsall and to my surprise there happens to be a great exhibition titled Land, Sea and Air until the 4th of September, much of…

Church Art Projects-A Bluffer’s Guide

In late 2014, our church (Churchcentral, Brum) started a preaching series called The Big Story. We covered the whole of the Bible in 20 weeks, zooming out from the detail of the Bible, to capture something of the grand narrative of God’s word. As we set this plan into motion, my mind began to whir. Perhaps, we…

Mental Illness For Fun And Profit

In recent years superhero movies have enjoyed an explosion in popularity. Almost every new release seems to be a major movie-going event, thanks to their colourful accessibility and widespread appeal. Not one to be left out, the church has also taken the genre to its bosom, with youth outings or small group socials often planned…

Can Maps Be Art?

Maps, particularly old maps, are ‘in’. As the high street clambers for everything that is vintage, maps have become a part of that movement. From map design dresses in House of Fraser to cartographic bed sheets in Debenhams, maps are part of our everyday graphic language. If we watch any news report, one cannot but…

What Does Mission Look Like In The Arts?

As I was compiling my recent reflections on the Catalyst Festival, I stumbled across a video made for the 2014 Festival. Think about the word ‘mission’. What does it look like to you? Someone calling sinners to repentance from a stage? Someone giving out tracts? A skilled apologist who can answer any objection thrown their way? I think the title…