Monday, 31 December 2012

Family Photo

I'd like to say a tremendous THANK YOU to everyone at CR Community, for making my residency such a wonderful expereince.

And thank you also, to everyone who has come along and shared this incredible journey, by visiting and supporting my blog. If you are ever in West Yorkshire, I highly recommend a visit to Mirfield Monastery.Its much better in the flesh.

Happy New Year & best of luck to the next Artist in residence 2013

Tales of the Pyx - The Conclusion

The Pyx at CR held a great fascination for me

It would change no matter how many times I looked at it

It was beautiful, no matter what time of day or night it was

I did my best to capture some sense of what it showed me

But nothing I did seemed...right
One night, with the brethren's blessings I tried again
I worked into the wee hours

This set of four was a direct result of that night

It's closer, but not quite there yet

Somehow my camera caught that which I couldn't express with my ink brush....

The Pyx at Community of the Resurrection Church is one of the most beautiful objects I have ever encountered or experienced. Even though I am currently living in London, I can still sense it's presence.

I do not feel that my work with the Pyx is finished. So I'm looking forward to trying again in the future - with the brethren's permission, of course..

The Pyx draws me like a magnet.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

But first, Chop Wood, Carry Water

Mealtimes at CR Monastery are a bit different than those at the College

There are usually many visitors, guests and retreatants with the occasional VIP

After the meal everyone pitches in to help clear up

With much hustle and bustle, the brethren get the job done quickly and efficiently

Fr. Crispin rolls the dish trolley to the kitchen, ready for the washing up

Even Fr. George (Superior) does his turn

Quite a different scenario from his daily administrative duties, as head honcho of CR

As an example of the vast array of their tasks, Fr. John,was in charge of fundraising activities and held an auction in Nov, which  raised over £50,000 for their CR Church Renovation Project.

Besides being Musical Director, Fr. Peter is also Principal and teacher at the Ordination College

As well as overseeing several extensive libraries, Fr. Thomas is also in charge of the CR fruit orchards. (And makes the best jams and jellies I've ever had.)

Brother Jacob is in charge of various church related duties. Here he is, putting away the main altar cloth after a special service
But Jacob is also CR's technical wizard guy- seen here helping set up my final presentation
At CR, even what looks like idle chat is deceiving. Here, FF Anthony and Oswin (Priory) discuss ideas for future workshops

Interesting educational workshops on various topics are regularly held at the Mirfield Centre

Brothers Dennis on the left, runs the Retreat facilities which has over 30 rooms. Daniel, is the CR Webmaster

But, at the end of the day, this is the schedule that the brethren adhere to, without fail.

The daily services and prayer is the backbone and lifeblood of the Community of the Resurrection

The brethren's commitment and dedication is strong and inspiring to see. (Btw, Fr. Peter is not reading text messages...he's transposed the liturgy onto his hi-tech gadget.)

The brethren wear many hats in the course of a day. Here's Fr. Nicolas - who also manages CR's South African concerns - preparing the small altar for midday Mass.

And here he is, getting beamed up. I knew there was something special about CR!

"Chop wood, carry water" is an old Zen saying, that basically means giving yourself fully to everyday mundane tasks. It's about being fully present in every moment. This is the state that the brethren at CR live in, 365 days of the year. 

I have been asked many times about what the monks actually do. These pictures are my way of answering that question although a lot has been left out. Remember, the brethren are also ordained Anglican Fathers, so you can add all sorts of priestly duties to the list above.
Perhaps now you get an inkling of the sheer discipline and energy required for the running of a modern working monastic community.
I've come to the conclusion that the brethren run on a different kind of energy source to the rest of us.....

They run on God-powered batteries.  

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Dinnertime at College of the Resurrection

Meal are served in The Refectory Dining Hall
College principal Fr. Peter enjoys a chat with his students
Students take turns to serve meals
Tucking into a delicious Chinese buffet
And a dessert to die for.....
How do they all keep so slim...
Suddenly everyone gets ready to leave
Without a word they all head quickly in the same direction.
Straight to the Common Room for coffee, a look at the papers and a chat!
Gentlemen's corner
*Ordnand "Bear"
* Note: "Ordnand" is the term used to describe theological students studying to become Church of  England priests.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Art Hearts You

Detail of Chinese scroll paper banner work
Placement in final exhibition


White dots are holes to let light/space shine through



Close-up of work on opposite side (on heavy paper)

The above are a series of experimental ink banner works made on very light Chinese scroll paper. They were hung in such a way to encourage movement when people walked down the corridors. It actually worked even better than I ever imagined....
Although I never actually witnessed it happening, I was told by a few people that the banners would not only wave to and fro, but depending on the walking pace of the passerby, the banners would sometimes rise into the air and curl around the lovely -
my art embraces you.