THE CALENDAR CYCLE
large format inkjet prints on poster paper, backlit film, and PVC
shot on a Nikon F65 and a Nikon D50
material scans with a CanoScan N124OU scanner
Over a 10-year period of creation, my work in photographic biblical illustration coalesced in The Calendar Cycle. Three separate bodies of work (The Passion, 2006; Hope Soars, 2008; and God’s Christmas Cards, 2005-2014) became part of a broader conceptualisation of the three great festivals of the Christian calendar: Advent, Lent, and Pentecost. The liturgical year has, for centuries, consecrated the Western human experience of time in the repeated, cyclic celebration of these events. At its root, the re-telling of the New Testament story becomes enlivened in the community and church contexts, and something so often treated visually as a figurative narrative of mythic past becomes relationally realised in ritual, worship and tradition.
My digital collages and their oversize printing in places of worship sought to explore this dimension. Graphic elements of line, pixels, newspapers, and manuscript print are combined with photographic details of figures, paintings, churches, birds, and landscapes. Commissioned for specific public displays, these poster-style prints and their accompanying texts communicate the Christian narrative as a series of stations for each season. In their rich and layered tableaux, the series demand an interactive viewing, which has been facilitated by their display in over 20 churches in the UK, and through their integration with liturgical and educational programmes including sermon series, meditative trails, online calendars, and concerts.
God’s Christmas Cards were produced annually between 2005 and 2014 as greetings cards. Their large-scale production was facilitated by St Cyriac’s Church, Lacock (Wiltshire) in 2015, accompanied by a programme of nightly illuminations and projections. The prints were gifted to private clients, and three of the designs were subsequently adopted for use by the Bishop of Chichester from 2017-2020.
The 12 images in The Passion series were designed for display in Bristol Cathedral in 2006. They were produced on backlit film, and illuminated along the north and south aisles as part of the cathedral’s Lent reflections. Now owned by Bible Society, they have also toured to Christ Church Clifton (Bristol) in successive years as The Easter Experience. This interactive exhibit was visited by over 3,000 school children from over 10 local schools, both primary and secondary.
Hope Soars was originally commissioned by St Martin in the Bull Ring (Birmingham) under the umbrella of Hope08, which was a national initiative in 2008 from churches around the country celebrating Christian hope. The original prints were acquired by Mercy in Action (where they have been installed in a children’s centre in the Philippines), and Life Church Bath (where they adorn the Art Deco walls of The Forum’s Visitor’s Lounge).
Installation views include: Bristol Cathedral; Christ Church Clifton, Bristol; St Edyth’s Church, Sea Mills, Bristol; Cairns Road Baptist Church, Bristol; Life Church Bath; New Wine, Royal Bath and Weston Showground; St Cyriac’s Church, Lacock; Parkgate and Neston United Reformed Church, Liverpool; and St Martin in the Bull Ring, Birmingham.