‘Creation’ exhibition – All Hallows by the Tower

‘Creation’ is a group show by commission4mission artists at All Hallows by the Tower from Tuesday 15 to Saturday 26 October and Holy Trinity Sloane Square from Tuesday 29 October to Saturday 9 November 2019. The exhibitions can be viewed during the two churches normal opening hours. The Private View at All Hallows is on Monday 14 October, beginning at 6pm, while the Private View at Holy Trinity is Monday 28 October, beginning at 6.30pm.

The title and theme for the exhibition can be understood in terms of emotions, ecology, personal, biblical etc. A mix of abstract and representational imagery has been created, utilising assemblage, ceramics, digital illustration, drawing, painting, puppetry and sculpture.

Revd Jonathan Evens, Secretary of commission4mission, says: ‘We have encouraged our artists to reflect broadly on the theme and 25 artists have responded with imagery that ranges from depictions of the Genesis Creation stories to Christ’s birth and our recreation through redemption, by way of flower studies, the creation of the poppy as a symbol of remembrance, and future creation using AI and genetic engineering.’

The exhibition includes work by Hayley Bowen, Harvey Bradley (All Hallows only), Irina Bradley, Lewis Braswell, Cathie Chappell, Valerie Dean (Holy Trinity only), Jonathan Evens, Mary Flitcroft, Maurizio Galia, Michael Garaway, John Gentry, Clorinda Goodman, Laura Grenci, Barbara Harris, Deborah Harrison, David Hawkins, Alan Hitching, Anthony Hodgson, Jacek Kulikowski, Mark Lewis, David Millidge, Dorothy Morris, Jacqui Parkinson, Janet Roberts (Holy Trinity only), and Henry Shelton.

Mary Flitcroft and Jacqui Parkinson are exhibiting with commission4mission for the first time. Mary Flitcroft is a ceramic artist whose work is contemplative and abstract. She currently works with porcelain paper clay in very thin, translucent sheets which she folds, tears, cuts, marks and stains with colours. Her work is contemplative and abstract. Jacqui Parkinson produces artwork with textiles – usually on a large scale – for public buildings and her work has regularly toured cathedrals. Jacqui uses a powerful graphic instinct together with the intimacy of the hand-stitched line to create work that feels highly spontaneous, very lively, moving and thoroughly engaging. Her work is designed to catch the eye and challenge the mind.

Michael Garaway is a mixed media artist who finds continual inspiration in urban landscape and new technologies to inform and produce his atmospheric and semi abstract work. He says, ‘I see creation as an on-going interactive process, which involves exploring and attempting to understand ways of ordering the world, and our views of the world.’ His work orders the appearances of specific locations with the use of grid and pattern. Divisions and multiples of a 12mm grid are used to develop and fix compositions, and Celtic step and knot patterns are incorporated in some of the work, linking to a much earlier Christian practice of illumination.

Clorinda Goodman’s ‘Ancilla Domini’ is a resin cast, a hexagonal representation of the Biblical moment when Eve disobeyed God’s command not to touch the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, which led, not only to the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, but the growth of the human race and expansion of God’s creation through the world. Thus Eve, as well as the Virgin Mary, is seen as the ‘Handmaid of the Lord’ in fulfilling God’s purposes for his creation. 

‘Christ & Cephas’ by John Gentry is a work about forgiveness, restoration and redemption. In John 21 we read of Peter being restored, forgiven, and, commissioned. In John’s image the triangle on the left of Christ is both Trinity and Fire. The pillar in the centre is the Pillar of Fire by night. Christ’s wounded hand is upon Cephas’ shoulder. Peter holds in his hand a net. In the net are fish, but also tin cans, plastic, glass bottles. The re-creation has been made possible by the redeeming work of Christ who commissions his body to proclaim and live Gospel. The rubbish is a type of sin. What a mess! “Who shall deliver us…?” Alleluia, says John, for saving grace!

Sculptor Deborah Harrison, in ‘Born Again’, gives us a body emerging from an egg, while Italian artists Laura Grenci and Maurizio Galia focus on water and music respectively as sources of creation.