Are Fireworks Art?

It is cold. Everton (my team) have just been torn to pieces by Chelsea (my son’s team) and  Spaceman by Babylon Zoo is resounding around the field. However, despite all of these compelling reasons for despondency, I am pretty chipper. Exploding above me is one of the better fireworks displays I’ve seen and I am suitably mesmerised. But…

Artists’ Art of 2016

So Christmas is behind us and we are mere days from 2017 and a chance to finally put this strange old year to bed. Now, whatever else you can say about 2016, it has certainly been a year of artistic endeavour and productivity. Therefore, I waited till everyone had got their Facebook top 10s out of…

Christmas Videos: Kings Church Edinburgh & St Pauls Auckland

On Tuesday we highlighted some music to get you in the Christmas mood. Today we have some videos- 2 to be precise. Christmas always gets Christian creatives motivated and there are plenty of good videos out there, retelling the Christmas story or exploring the questions it raises. To stand out from the melee, you’ve got to be good….

How do we ‘do a St Francis’ this Christmas?

As Benjamin Harris reminded us, St Francis of Assisi created the first nativity scene in order to revitalise people’s understanding of the nativity, to free it from the gilded mosaics of the imperial and royal basilicas and present it as a real event with straw and the warm, wet breath of animals. There was plenty…

Christmas Playlist

Okay. I am now firmly gripped in the clutches of Christmas, and I won’t be escaping any time before Boxing Day! I’d considered putting up some esoteric posts about whether fishmongery is art or bemoaning the overuse of teal in church website banners, but even I couldn’t be that obtuse. It’s Christmas in under a week…

St Francis and Subversive Nativities

One of my favourite Yuletide memories comes from about five years ago when me and my uncle Philip were able to sneak a figure of Darth Vader just behind Mary, Joseph, and Jesus in my Grandfather’s Nativity set. Faithful throughout the season, the Sith Lord remained in the holy huddle long into January. … During…

Advent 2016 by Bernard Davis

A couple of weeks ago, we directed you towards Luke Sewell’s excellent Orbital blog, a result of Luke’s wrestlings with the year that is now drawing to a close. Today, I thought I’d point you towards a different response to 2016, from Bernard Davis. Bernard is a stalwart of the Birmingham poetry scene and part of our…

Sputnik Stocking Fillers

Jemma, my wife, is a force of nature when it comes to Christmas shopping. She started about a month ago and I think has pretty much nailed it already. Now, I like to think that she is the exception rather than the rule in this regard, and if this is true, then most of you reading…

Why do we create? Lessons from the Bedford Sputnik Hub

There really is no better way to spend an afternoon than with a bunch of Christian artists. If the 20 year old version of myself had known that 18 years later he’d be saying stuff like that, he would not have been a happy bunny. But I’d like to think that if my younger self…

Effective Escapism

Last year I read John Darnielle’s novel Wolf in White Van. Though his first major literary work, I have been a long-time fan of Darnielle’s band the Mountain Goats, through which his ability to craft short but emotionally nuanced stories has been consistently demonstrated through his role as the songwriter and lyricist. As such, I approached the book…