Art for Peace in Syria: Reflections and Visions

This work is in response to the current situation in Syria working in collaboration with MASS (Medical Aid and Support for Syria). An exhibition of this work will be held in St Peter's Church, Burnham, 12 — 15 May 2017 to raise funds to help set up a medical centre.

My starting point for this latest body of work is inspired by the short film "The Flower Seller of Aleppo", which can be viewed on YouTube here.

Beginning with some words spoken by Abu Ward, the father of the flowers: 'The Essence of the World is a Flower', and researching the symbolism of flowers in Syria, Jasmine, Orchids and Roses being the most popular, especially Jasmine, regarded as the national flower of Syria.

For most of the last five years there has been a small oasis of colour and life amidst the destruction and grief of rebel-held Aleppo. It's the garden centre, which has supplied plants, blooms and foliage to people in that part of the city throughout the war.

Jasmine, The Essence of the World is a Flower I

Orchid, The Essence of the World is a Flower II

Rose, The Essence of the World is a Flower III

Lily, The Essence of the World is a Flower V

Visions of hope for the future.

As seen in/as featured in The World of Interiors magazine.


Sense of Place

Sense of Place is my new body of work and is an exploration of Lindisfarne, a unique and distinctive island off the coast of Northumberland, cherished in folk tales, festivals and celebrations. The Celts called places such as Lindisfarne 'thin places', where the boundary between heaven and earth is especially thin. Where we can sense the divine more readily and we can absorb the invisible weave of culture (stories, art, memories, beliefs, histories, etc.).

I've been visiting Lindisfarne since I was a very small child and more latterly as an adult over the last twenty years. Sensing the wild landscape and beauty of this sanctuary of creation has helped me to create work in response to my just being there in the tangible physical aspects of the island and a sense of the other. The island was an important centre for Celtic Christianity under Aidan, Cuthbert, Eadfrith and Eadberht. It is where the Lindisfarne Gospels were created in the 7th century. This new body of work is an attempt to capture the mystery and spirit of place through paintings, photographs and poetry over two decades.