Sabbatical art pilgrimage

commission4mission’s secretary, Jonathan Evens, is currently on a sabbatical during which he is visiting significant sites connected to the renewal of religious art in Europe during the twentieth century.

P1410035His programme includes two UK-based retreats, a series of visits to UK sites, and a pilgrimage around sites in Belgium, France and Switzerland. On the European leg of his sabbatical he plans to visit sites connected with the groups of artists surrounding Maurice Denis, Jacques Maritain, Albert Gleizes and Pere Marie-Alain Couturier. He intends that this will include visits to (among others): Sint-Martens Latem (Albert Servaes); Chapelle Notre-Dame-du-Haut, Ronchamp (Le Corbusier); Church of Sacré-Coeur, Audincourt (Various); Église de Saint Nicolas Semsales (Gino Severini); Eglise Saint-Paul à Grange-Canal, Geneva (Denis); Notre-Dame de Toute Grâce, Assy (Various); Moly-Sabata, Sablons (Gleizes); Notre Dame, Raincy (Denis); Denis Chapel, Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Denis). He also hopes to visit some more contemporary sites and examples of good practice such as: Centre d’Art Sacré Contemporain, Lille (Various); Chapelle Sainte-Thérèse-de-l’Enfant-Jésus et dela Sainte-Face, Hem (Alfred Manessier); Metz Cathedral (Marc Chagall); and St Jean Baptiste, Bourbourg (Anthony Caro).

In the remainder of the sabbatical he intends to visit sites in the UK such as: Berwick Church East IMG_0305Sussex (Bloomsbury Group); Chichester Cathedral (Various); Coventry Cathedral (Various); Ditchling Museum (Eric Gill/David Jones); Eton College Chapel (Evie Hone); Lumen Church (Theisand Khan); Notre Dame de France London (Jean Cocteau); Sandham Memorial Chapel (Stanley Spencer); St Matthew Northampton (Henry Moore/Graham Sutherland); St Peter Gorleston-on-Sea (Gill); Tudeley Parish Church (Chagall); Westminster Cathedral (Gill) and Worth Abbey (Francis Pollen). His retreats at Aylesford Priory (Adam Kossowski) and Belsey Bridge Conference Centre (Alan Oldfield) will enable some of these visits to be made.

His intention is to reflect on the visits he makes in terms of the significance of these sites both for art history and good practice for commissioning, as well as capturing his personal and spiritual responses to the artworks at the sites. He plans to photograph each site and its artworks, write journal entries (for posting to his blog – and articles (for the ArtWay website – about his visits, and write a final report summarising his responses and general conclusions in terms of art history, commissioning good practice and implications for prayer/spirituality.

Marleen Hengelaar-Rookmaaker of ArtWay has said, “This sounds a wonderful sabbatical plan and this is certainly of great interest to ArtWay. We will be very happy to publish your findings on our website.” Ed Knippers (CIVA artist) has said, “Your plans for a sabbatical sound remarkable. You have really done your homework and it looks to be a wonderful adventure.”

IMG_0445To read Jonathan’s posts to date click here and to read his first report for the ArtWay website click here.