Quakers and the Arts – some resources
These are a few publications about Quakers and the Arts, with personal comments from individual members of QAN. Most are available through the Quaker Bookshop http://www.quaker.org.uk/quaker-centre ; or are on sale direct from a member of QAN, where indicated. See here for more resources for the Loving Earth Project
Ways to Kiss the Earth : Quaker artists explore sustainability.
This book includes art works and texts by 26 contemporary Quakers is now available to purchase direct from QAN for your own inspiration or a gift for others.
1 or 2 copies £10.00 each plus £2.00 UK postage.
3 or more copies £7.50 each plus £3.00 UK postage.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details and sales enquiries
An independent review of this book is at https://www.celebrationearth.org/post/kiss-the-earth
Loving Earth Project Greetings cards
Two sets of blank cards 2 x 4 designs each,
featuring textile panels from the Loving Earth Project will shortly be available . Please watch this space.
Resources about selected projects supported by QAN
A video about the Collateral Damage Project , commemorating the centenary of the end of World War One – see below) .
Catalogue for the Climb up to the Moor exhibition by Judith Bromley Nicholls, the first art exhibition (in 2015) in the newly refurbished Large Meeting Room at Friends House, renamed the Light.
Hester and Sophie by John Lampen, illustrated by Rosie Ryder
Thirteen-year-old Hester and Sophie were best friends, but Sophie has now gone. A troubling dream and an inexplicable message start Hester on a journey of discovery—the journey from grief into new hope, and from childhood into adolescence.
” A riveting read with some very helpful talking points”.
For more details please follow the link.
Quakers and the Arts Frederick J Nicholson, 18968 Quaker Home Service Committee
A classic wide-ranging survey of the attitudes of British Quakers to the arts from George Fox’s day to the 1960s. Stronger on history and on the arts of poetry, theatre and literature than on the visual arts (with very few pictures) it is a well-researched, landmark publication of its time.
A Speaking Silence: Quaker Poets of Today edited by Rosie Bailey and Stevie Krayer, 2013 A splendid anthology exploring the real world in all its light and shade, seen through a distinctively Quaker poetic lens. These are good poems, and thoroughly contemporary in their variety of topics, voices, approaches and styles, the formal as well as the more experimental. These are poems that disturb silence significantly, as W S Graham said all good poetry should. They are poems to move you, delight you – and make you think.
by John Ormerod Greenwood Signs of Life, Art and Religious Experience (Swarthmore Lecture). Friends Home Service Committee. 1978
In this lecture, Ormerod Greenwood set out to address the view, still widely held in the 1970s, that “Quakerism has nothing whatever to do with the arts”, and to explore how God can be discovered through the arts. It looks not only at aspects Christian art and theology but more widely at “great masters” in different artistic fields and how these can nurture the spirit and express religious experience, even if their form is not overtly a religious one.
Images and Silence (Swarthmore Lecture) by Brenda Clifft Heales and Chris Cook. 1992. Quaker Home Service.
A deeply-grounded consideration of the future of Quaker ministry and the role that images may play, drawing on their personal experience and on their wide knowledge of theology and the arts. They look at the role of “images towards God” and “the imagelessness of God”, drawing on the ministries of Julian of Norwich and of Meister Eckhart, and of their own “Appleseed” ministry which uses the creation of images as a tool for responding to and exploring leadings of the spirit and for carrying God’s silence into the world.
Seeding the Spirit: the Appleseed Workbook by Chris Cook and Brenda Heales.(Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre, 2001.
A workbook for individuals or groups wishing to explore themes of prayer, meditation, the mystics and the arts. The authors offer diverse ways of responding to these themes through simple creative activities and provide detailed instructions on how to do so, based on their many years of working in their Appleseed ministry at Woodbrooke and travelling widely. Distinctive, inspirational, enabling and impeccably presented.
Quakers and the Arts: Plain and Fancy by David Sox, 2000
The author presents historical shifts in British and North American Quaker attitudes toward the arts as shown through short biographies of well-known painters, writers, poets and actors. Spanning the 18th to the 20th centuries, David Sox places their lives in historical context. omits much of what has been happening in the wider Quaker community.
Inspired by Worship: Quaker Arts Calendar 2014
This calendar publishes art works in a variety of styles and media inspired by Quaker worship from the 17th to the 21st century, making many of them accessible for the first time. An unusual visual resource for outreach, meeting libraries, and personal inspiration, the images can be used separately in displays or framed. Information the artists and about different aspects of Meeting for worship are included. Full colour, 30cm by 30cm.
Curated and edited by Linda Murgatroyd, Anne McNeil Pulati and Penny Robbins.
A few copies remain and are available from the QAN Treasurer, Nettlebank, Wootton Rivers, Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 4NQ, UK. Please enclose a cheque for £4 per calendar to cover Postage and packing, payable to ‘Quaker Arts Network’.
Pictorial Guide to the Quaker Tapestry By Edward H Milligan, 1998
From 1981 to 1996 – 4,000 men, women and children from 15 countries have helped to make the Quaker Tapestry, a unique community work of art that tells and shows the story of Quakerism. The pictorial guide beautifully illustrates, in full colour with accompanying text, all 77 panels. For other publications about the tapestry, see the Quaker Tapestry Website .
Go Inside to Greet the Light by Yorkshire Quaker Arts Project (video)
Short films inspired by James Turrell’s Deer Shelter (2006) in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Evocative and contemplative. They are no substitute for visiting the installation but certainly whet the appetite and show something of its visual and spiritual impact on visitors.
See also their website http://goinsidetogreetthelight.com
Climb up to the Moor by Judith Bromley Nicholls. Beech House publications, 2012
A beautiful journal in paintings and words of the artist’s walks in the Dales around Askrigg, Yorkshire, celebrating the myriad forms of life, weather and evolution and ways of life. With additional contributions from Robert Nicholls and a number of local people. Full of wonder and also thought-provoking.
The Quiet Eye: a way of looking at pictures by Sylvia Shaw Judson, 1982
A beautiful little book of images or artworks and short texts from many periods and traditions, which lead one into quiet reflective space.
The British Museum Christ by Rowena Loverance (2004)
For this little book, Rowena Loverance has selected wonderful images of Christ made in many different times and places from the British Museum’s collection. Alongside each is a deft commentary on both the artwork and its religious meaning, quoting the relevant biblical texts. An invitation to reflection and also an excellent introduction to the Christian story.
The Hoffnung Symphony Orchestra by Gerard Hoffnung
Gerard Hoffnung was a musician, cartoonist and humorist, whose brilliant and absurd drawings, mostly on a musical theme, have delighted music lovers throughout the world. His deep concern for social justice and peace led him eventually to become a Quaker. This is one of many small collections of his musical cartoons, most of which date from the 1950s.
Sing in the Spirit
A Quaker book of songs in many different styles. Published by the Leaveners . Reprinted 2013
The Collateral Damage Project (2018)
was a Quaker Arts Network project that commemorated victims of all wars during and since the Great War of 1914-1918. Wars have continued somewhere in the world ever since, but the many different victims of war have often been forgotten. Around 5000 white textile poppies were made by volunteers to commemorate a wide range of victims of wars. Mostly they were non-military victims, those who lost health, family, home, livelihoods, their country or were traumatised by war as well as animals and places that were devastated, and some military victims who lost their physical or mental health if not their very lives. A leaflet about the project is on our Documents page. More information is on Facebook @whitepoppies2018. The project also featured at Art the Arms Fair in 2017 and 2019.
This short video describes the project https://youtu.be/M7bh8OQWPDw .This short video describes the project https://youtu.be/M7bh8OQWPDw .
Loving earth through poetry : Stevie Krayer
Back in September I was admiring the beau6ful panels contributed to the Loving Earth project and wishing I had one s6tch of cra>womanship in my crea6ve fabric. My medium is words; my hands can manage a keyboard but that’s about it. So I asked whether I could contribute a poem instead of a panel. The response was an invita6on to organise a poetry event!
Quite quickly the idea began to take shape. QAN kindly offered to host an online event in the runup to COP26, and between Linda Murgatroyd, Philip Gross, Sam Donaldson, Jennifer Kavanagh and me, we sorted out all the details and chose the 6tle Words for the Earth.
Come the evening of 25 October, I sat down at my computer and logged in. To my mingled astonishment, delight and terror, there was an audience of some 70 Friends for an hour of poetry about our planet. Philip, Sam and I read, Jennifer was the perfect compère and Kate Green took excellent care of the technical side (which didn’t stop a gremlin gatecrashing and repeatedly silencing Philip – but being a seasoned pro he coped with aplomb).
I started my set by worrying aloud whether poetry might be seen as yet more ‘blahblahblah’. The size of the audience was itself a reassurance on that point, and both at the 6me and subsequently, many audience members let us know that the event had been inspiring. One wrote “Thank you all for your wonderful words, which transported us to places of light and dark in the realm of
imagina6on.” To me it was clear that as we confront the climate crisis, poetry is something we really need. It ar6culates our deepest emo6ons about the Earth and its denizens. It unites us, comforts us and heartens us as we con6nue the struggle to save our shared home. I hope there may be further events forthcoming from QAN.
Further reading from the poets:
Sam Donaldson: This Place (illustrated by Mike Sprout) https://thisplaceproject.webnode.co.uk/ Here’s a brief extract:
Philip Gross: Dark Sky Park (Oder-Barry Books, 2018) with illustra6ons by Jesse Hodgson. 978-1-910959-88-6 hdps://www.oderbarrybooks.com/product-page/dark-sky-park
Between the Islands (Bloodaxe, 2020) 978 1 78037 506 9
Philip also wrote this poem especially for the event:
Words for the Earth
The world. The wild. Whale-road. Turtle Island. Ship of fools. Leaky ark. Beast of burden. Mulch bed. Midden. Mater Dolorosa. Dancer in the dark.
Dustbowl. Floodplain. Squaders’ camp round the amusement park.
Pandora’s box. Rock bottom. Hall of mirrors. Everything that is the case. Cooling ingot. Shop floor. Rumour mill. Our daily bread. The commonplace.
The real internet of things. End of all rainbows. Silver teardrop. Golden fleece. The heart of the mader. Bag for life. Pièce de resistance that’s never at peace.
Gaia the Grave, the Gay. Mother-of-mountains. Slop-bucket of seas.
Ironheart. Wind-spindle. Wonky wheel. Moon-waltzer. Whipped top teetering. Lost marble down a crease in 6me. A glittering full stop.
Ticking 6me bomb. Grindstone. Life’s one lucky roll of the dice. Roulede wheel. Self-stirring cauldron. Sweet spot between fire and ice.
Real estate. Stuff. Things. Sub-prime mortgage. Pearl of great price.
The aftermath of Eden. Storm in God’s teacup. Mr Darwin’s petri dish. Penny tossed down the well-shaft of space. Condemned man’s last wish.
Equivocator between day and night. Bipolar. Everything we’ve got.
The nitty-gritty. State of the art. Terra infirma. Heartland. Mel6ng pot.
Base camp. Arrivals and departures lounge. Way out. Blue dot.
Crystal ball. Snow-globe. Humdinger. Radio Babel. Whirling dervish in a trance. Launchpad for the a>erlife. Our lady of changes. The lord of the dance.
Decontamination zone. An open question. Crossword with no clues.
The ground of our being. A suspended sentence. Devil’s playground. Rolling news.
Addlepate. Cracked bowl of continents. Alarm bell ringing on and on unheard. Last chance saloon. Last orders. Going, going, on the edge of
edge of edge of…
Love island. Vale of tears. A handful of dust. The pleasure dome.
Mortal coil. Life-support. Celestial clod. Third rock. Ground zero. Home?
Stevie Krayer: New Monkey (Indigo Dreams Publishing – available from the author)
Words from the Brink (anthology of poetry and short stories, published by Arachne Books) – which includes her poem:
Recharting the territory:
Where are we? Songlines, archipelagoes of knots in twine, lidle fleets
of outriggers weaving the world
into a cradle, lepng sea and land
show us where we stood. We turned, reverently ochred the landscape with what we needed it to mean.
You are here. Later, emboldened,
we drew our mappae mundi without looking: us and our special places at the centre
of everything. The authorities
were slow to take down the city walls
and see the truth of the lie of the land. Easier to erase the truthtellers.
This land is our land: we-know-best grandees
in topees and top hats, in offices and map-rooms built, tunnelled, razed, dumped,
drawing confident lines across con6nents, dividing and ruling, shi>ing whole peoples
with hunger and bombs, pos6ng an alien label on someone’s home and then evic6ng them.
Recalculating… Goaded beyond retrieval
Nature has uninstalled Inkscape
and is taking our sloppy handiwork
to its last flourish. Google Maps shall be wiped. With its apocalyp6c toolkit – fire, famine, meltwater, microscopic armies, mass ex6nc6on – Earth is taking back control.
Perform a U-turn where possible.
In due course we hope to expand this section of the website and include a wider selection of the arts, including poetry. If you would like to be involved with this developing project, please contact the QAN convenor at email@example.com