trains and alpha waves

March 13, 2011

This weekend, I finally got to go to Newcastle (England) to see what my friend Alison does there.

I thought she ran a gallery space in the back of a church, but as it turns out, this is a proper free-standing gallery called The Holy Biscuit.

I am not around Christian artists nearly enough (probably because there are only about 12 of us in the UK). And, this was a conference dedicated to us. People from all over the UK came. Vicars, curates, students, activists.

It really encouraged my soul to know that I’m not alone in using the subtle to try to show God to people. I am not alone in spending hours and sleepless nights painting something that most people will spend less than five minutes viewing.

I got to listen to four lectures about the interaction of God and art. We didn’t settle on “This is how to do it,” but instead heard intriguing stories. One man who spoke is the only arts chaplain in the UK – he leads a gallery space for a community where artists could come in for 2 week increments and even paint the walls. What a great way to invite people from the community into church.

I also got to see a large bit of Newcastle. My studiomate told me that the contemporary art museum was great – and, it was. I got to linger with 2 lovely ladies who were also in town for the conference.

And yes, I saw the bridge that opens like an eyelid. I only wish I saw it in action, but had a lovely time sitting, sketching, and writing poems from the gallery window.

Find something you love, find others who love it (and are good at it), and get some encouragement. I was so relaxed on my return journey that I ended up getting on the wrong train from Newcastle, got kicked off, and had to wait for an hour-and-a-half in a deserted town for another train, but I didn’t care and used this as a chance to extend the mini-holiday and write a few more poems.