Relay Blog: February 2018
As an Art Relay worker, I am doing the Relay Arts Elective. This allows me to continue to develop my own artwork, and learn more about how and what it means to be a Christian artist.
As a part of this programme, I have been a part of three conferences: two in London and one in Scotland. I have just returned from the Interface Conference in Scotland which is organised by Morphe Arts. This conference gathered together many Christian art graduates for two days, to be taught and encouraged together.
I was personally challenged during the weekend as we looked at the theme of ‘making good’ in our art, and the call for us to ‘be good’ ourselves. I was reminded of our need to continue to come back to God and repent before we can start ‘making good’ in our work – constantly turning back to Christ, realigning our heart and our will to His. It was also great to be able to spend time with professional, established artists and learn and make connections with them.
At the Interface conference, Paul Gardener, the main speaker (who is a pastor in Glasgow, Scotland), talked about art as a bridge to reaching and loving people. He spoke about a project he undertook with his church where they had gigantic a weaving loom (called the ‘Peace Loom’) in the church, and invited the public to come and interact with it. Through this activity, they were able to listen and talk to people, building deeper relationships. Similarly, as an Art Relay Worker, I help students in the Christian Union to use art as a bridge to connect with people; a form of creative evangelism. I will be visiting Falmouth and Sussex CU events weeks soon and will engage with people through doing creative activities on campus. On a creative campus particularly, this helps people to feel comfortable, and creates a healthy and natural environment to listen and talk with people, and hopefully receive the opportunity to share with them about the good news of the Gospel.
Following this conference, my fellow Art Elective Relay Workers and I had the opportunity to stay at the location for a little longer. We showed each other our various art practices and ongoing work, getting the opportunity to receive critique, improvements and encouragements from the rest of the group and our mentors. One evening we watched a film, followed by a film discussion together. It was great to develop our film critiquing skills. It was also so encouraging to support each other throughout the year and keep each other accountable.
God has called us Christians to be involved in all areas of life, and I believe God has called some of us to be artists or work in the creative arts. There are unique challenges to be had as a Christian in the art world so we need to be trained, encouraged and resourced to face these challenges. I was grateful for this investment in me, as I now feel more prepared to stand for Christ in my situation.
Siwan Jones is an Art Relay Worker in Cardiff. Relay is our mission, discipleship and training progamme for graduates. Relay Workers get time set aside for elective study, to pursue an area of particular interest and to work out how their passions can shape their their worship and evangelism.
Find out more about the programme, and pray for Relay Workers in their own walk with Jesus, in the CUs that they serve alongside and the local churches that they are part of.