‘“What is your own favourite piece of art?”
“...Faith On Tap. It developed from what was to be a small wall-mounted piece to a large floor-standing installation, and was driven by sheer inspiration that never let up. It was a real gift from which I learned and grew as an artist in so many ways.”
Rather than explain what Faith on tap is about, it seems more fitting to explain how it came about, which vaguely begins with a trip to Swinside stone circle.
The location and weird sudden changes in weather that day were almost spiritual to which a friend remarked, “Places like this start to push buttons to things we feel we should know.”
I'm guessing the stone circle builders were picking up on similar vibes back in their day.
Swinside that day.
Moving on down the line, I was at my friend’s sister's funeral and although a very sad occasion, family and friends so warmly reflected on and celebrated her life. I gazed around and thought, I can't imagine a more fitting place than chapel for this. And this from a so called non-believer.
It was then I opened up to a statement forming in my head that was, believe in God or not, faith is inherently plumbed into our nature. And maybe, just maybe, something happens to turn that tap within just a little. And for a while you feel more than just yourself. And I thought wow! I need to do something with this. And by the end of the service, Faith on tap was all but built.
I dashed home after the reception. Hauled from under the stairs a box of copper piping left over from a plumbing job done years ago. Searched YouTube for plumbing skills. And over the next few days sourced and built the piece called father, son and the Holy Spirit as a test altarpiece for Faith on tap.
(Altarpiece) Father, son and the Holy Spirit. Test piece for Faith on tap.
And over the next week or so I made the wall piece Faith on tap as it came to me on the day.
Top left is Faith on tap.
To the right is the Altarpiece Father, son and the Holy Spirit/test piece.
From the very outset I'd hoped to first show both pieces in a church or chapel, so you can imagine how elated I was when Manchester cathedral expressed an interest in my proposal in 2016. The only issue then was neither piece could be secure enough to be free standing.
During a tour of the cathedral by Petra I was asked if I could supply a stand or something to hold both pieces. Possibly for the Jesus chapel. And as soon as I said yes I'll make something, I looked around and thought, any additional structure (presence) would have to somehow work all round. Bridge both cathedral and viewer to the pieces. Not just present them, breaking connection.
And this whole surrounding wooden structure below was born from elements of that tour. One in particular I'd like to share with you before I finish.
During a tour of Manchester cathedral with Petra, I remarked I felt a little disrespectful having to bring the altarpiece Father the son and the Holy Spirit in my backpack upside down, but it wouldn't go in any other way. Petra kindly assured me that’s fine. Upside down it's the cross of Saint Peter. He didn't think himself worthy of being crucified the same way up as Jesus. And wanted to be crucified upside down. And here sprung another limb to this piece.
The cross of saint peter is represented here by way of two separate struts. vertical to the left and horizontal to the right front base of the structure. And only form the upside down cross of saint peter if you look through one side to the other.
The reason for presenting the cross of Saint Peter this way is that I didn't want people such as myself drawing on something of a negative spin that wasn't there. And this lends itself so well to something else. Something as real today as it was in the time of Jesus. And that is having to hide, play down or even deny your faith and beliefs in fear of persecution.
Manchester Cathedral Jesus Chapel May 27th to June 19th 2016
Great happiness, suffering and loss often lead to a ceremony of faith. And even if faithless, these ceremonies of faith still comfort us. They are always there for us. Support us. And even inspire us.
Manchester Cathedral in the Jesus chapel during Christmas and candle mass. As usual, a brilliant warm welcome from all. Thank you.
Bolton Parish Church.
St. Peter, Bolton-le-Moors.2018.
10:30am. 22nd June 2018. Installed Faith on tap in the south side of Bolton parish church. St. Peter, Bolton-le-Moors for their Midsummer Festival.
A Big thank you to all involved for such an honoured opportunity. Thank you for the cup of tea and warm welcome from all. Best wishes.
The Tag batons to the left and right side of faith on tap were specially added for this event. So please feel free to get involved by adding personal messages, well wishes and prayers via the tags supplied. Or make your own. Tags have the option of becoming permanently part of faith on tap future exhibits or stay with Bolton parish church.
And a big thank you to Liz Crichton http://itia.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/people/students/liz-crichton/ for her tags. Brilliant. http://www.revelationarts.org.uk/
Please excuse the photographs as they were taken on my phone.
Bolton Parish Church
St Peter, Bolton-le-Moors
Download accompanying/additional material/leaflet.
Manchester Cathedral Jesus Chapel May 27th to June 19th 2016 and 2018