What excites me about my relationship with God is discovering, learning, reflecting, sharing, and receiving love. To be able to notice God at work in my life, and the lives of those around me, involves being aware of light and shade, contrasts, boundaries, patterns, and connections. Life is complex, difficult, but also sometimes beautiful in its simplicity. To find all that, means making time and space to reflect. The years that I spent caring for family (at both ends of the generation spectrum) have eased, and I am appreciative of the unusual space I have now to do this.
Art is the same for me. It’s about looking and noticing. What shape is that? Is it bigger/smaller than what is behind/in front? Where is the light coming from? Where is it falling? What’s happening at the edges? What is dominating? What is hidden? Where is the beauty or the sadness? What is it that attracts or moves me? What’s going on here? I see that as a parallel for God being completely aware of the world he created.
I chose my email name “artwisestella” after the kids left home and I started seriously studying art and printmaking. It has become my work name too. It is not a declaration of any wisdom of my own, but it sets out my intended direction and my belief that wisdom is formed from experience and seeking. I love getting stuck in, making and creating, learning as I go – printmaking plates, artists books, mobiles, and 3D work, as well as losing myself in the analytical work of drawing. I’ve twice had explorative pieces exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition – in 2019 it was my Art Diary visually expressing 18 weeks of Chemotherapy treatment.
My previous working life as an assessor and mentor has transferred into sharing my art skills and materials with others through Art for Wellbeing. I make a space – indoors or out – where people can come and lose themselves for a while in looking at what is around them. There is no pressure to create a masterpiece – the emphasis is on enjoying using the materials and letting your mind be absorbed by what is in front of you. I’m there to offer encouragement and support and technical guidance if it is asked for. What delights me is the buzz of a small group happily occupied and chatting easily with each other as they look and create. I coordinate the ‘FoxeARTh days’ at At Rocha UK’s Foxearth Meadows Reserve and the group finishes with a time of Worship in what is now known as our “Green Cathedral”. We’d love to see you at a future FoxeARTh event or hear about how you can connect with God and others through the arts!
This ‘meet the community’ article was written by Stella Davis for the Wild Christian email, ‘Nature and the arts.’ Stella is an Artist, Printmaker, Mentor, Methodist Local Preacher, Eco Church/Circuit Co-ordinator and co-founder of Stowmarket Eco Future Group.