My on-line diary began in the 1990's from my studio in the North of England. After a lapse of ten years, I resumed posting from my present studio on the Caribbean island of Dominica.

From the far beginning, the intention has been to give an insight into my working methods, and to share the triumphs, trials and tribulations of work-in-progress.

My diary pages are followed by thousands of artists, art students and art lovers in over 50 countries.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Cycle-clips and churches…

If, on our travels, my wife loses sight of me, she knows that I can usually be found in the nearest church. 

Churches are another of my passions.  I have sketched them, painted them, helped to restore them, repaired their organs and designed church windows and alter pieces.  In the years that my studio was based in England, I held the keys for the local Methodist Church (and managed to loose them) and fought tooth and nail to save the Anglican.  When the puritanical NHS turned away my nude figures, the church courageously offered to take them in.

My very studio was originally a Church Assembly Hall and before we left for the Caribbean, the Bishop of Wakefield came down, unannounced, in full regalia to bless our shipping containers.  I was lashing machines down inside container number two at the time and he gave a one hell of a fright!

From this, you might suppose that I am a regular churchgoer, but I am not.  As Simon Jenkin’s said in his definitive book on English Churches:

They do not force me to my knees but they whisper to me to tread softly, as they did Philip Larkin, bidding him to “take off my cycle-clips in awkward reverence”…If this is religious awe, so be it.

For the north window of the church assembly hall that became my studio, I designed my Black Madonna.

1 comment:

  1. Just about to get ready to amble off to one of those English Anglican churches :)