Krista Tippett

This feels like calling. I’ve learned across the years that with calling, what you have to set absolutely is your intention, and you have to both trust in and let go of control over the results of your actions. I believe that we are planting seeds that will endure beyond me and the life of … Read more

Bishop Michael Curry

Old preachers used to say, when I was growing up, you look on headstones in graveyards, in cemeteries, and you see the name of the person; then you see the year and date they were born, and then a little dash, and the year and date that they died. And the old preachers used to … Read more

Compline: A contemplative journey through Lent

“Compline: A contemplative journey through Lent” in St Olave’s Church

The ancient close-of-the-day service of Compline, with plainchant and polyphony. Hosted by Margaret Aagesen Hughes (Soprano) and Clare Bryden (Alto). Featuring the music of Barber, Bach and Pergolesi, and musicians Ruth Molins (Flute), Emma Welton (Violin), John Draisey (organ).

Stockholm Library. Photo credit: Susan Yin on Unsplash.

Five books that have formed me

I have a great debt of gratitude to Thomas Hardy, Margaret Craven, Rainer Maria Rilke, the author of the Cloud of Unknowing, Richard Powers, and many others.

Japanese Dogwood

Japanese Dogwood

When I moved to Exeter, one of the first things I did was to plant a tree. This year it’s gone ‘berserk’ and many of my neighbours have remarked on it… Which has led me to take more notice of it too.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ

Above all, trust in the slow work of God. We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We should like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new. And yet it is the law of all progress that it is … Read more

Sir Francis Drake

Lord God, when thou givest to thy servants to endeavour any great matter, grant us also to know that it is not the beginning, but the continuing of the same, until it be thoroughly finished, that yieldeth the true glory; through him who, for the finishing of thy work, laid down his life for us, … Read more

Theresa Bayer

I value a ‘don’t know’ attitude highly, because it’s ambiguous, and fosters a ‘beginner’s mind’ in which there are more possibilities than an ‘expert’s mind.’ Do your art and forget about marketing it. You can always find somebody else to do the marketing, but you can’t find somebody else to do the art. There is … Read more

Oliver Burkeman

If you’re prone to thinking you should be helping more, that’s probably a sign that you could afford to direct more energy to your idiosyncratic ambitions and enthusiasms. As the Buddhist teacher Susan Piver observes, it’s radical, at least for some of us, to ask how we’d enjoy spending an hour or day of discretionary … Read more

Hanging umbrellas

Working title: “The application of weather forecasting techniques to health forecasting”

In a past working life I conducted a thought experiment, looking at the different aspects of numerical weather prediction and weather forecasting at the Met Office, and asking whether these techniques might have an analogue in health forecasting. At the time, I thought there might be a paper in it. It never came to be written, so this is how I am keeping the idea alive.

Stockholm Library. Photo credit: Susan Yin on Unsplash.

Why do I read?

To be entertained by a cracking yarn. To comfort me in illness or sadness. To experience the thrill of a new beginning, and the potential that I hold in my hand for unfurling life or explosive change.

3D printed nodding donkey

Nodding donkeys

The nodding donkey is a grotesque distortion of circular natural seasonal fecundity into linear exploitative extraction. The donkeys are nodding to capitalism’s exponential growth message, always looking down even when their head is high, never looking up to reality or the future.

Julia Cameron

“Do you know how old I will be by the time I learn to really play the piano/act/paint/write a decent play?” Yes . . . the same age you will be if you don’t. So let’s start. — The Artist’s Way

Arundhati Roy

To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never … Read more

Temperature Map 2018. Image credit Berkeley Earth

What can I do about the Climate Emergency? Parts 1&2

The first in a series of articles I’m writing for Exeter Cathedral’s monthly News, on the changes we can make in our own lives, and how we can encourage necessary structural changes. This time: calculating your environmental footprint, and taking a Sabbath.

Colum McCann

Don’t write what you know, write towards what you want to know. A writer is an explorer. She knows she wants to get somewhere, but she doesn’t know if the somewhere even exists yet. It is still to be created. Don’t sit around looking inward. That’s boring. In the end your navel contains only lint. … Read more

Emily Dickinson

I dwell in Possibility – A fairer House than Prose – More numerous of Windows – Superior – for Doors – Of Chambers as the Cedars – Impregnable of eye – And for an everlasting Roof The Gambrels of the Sky – Of Visitors – the fairest – For Occupation – This – The spreading … Read more

Ian Adams

I laugh. I had tried to read the river. But the river read me, asking How will you live your mayfly life? — A Wild Swim with Mayflies

Clouds. Photo credit: phtorxp on Pixabay.

Breaking SAD – Springwatch

Things feel bad. Spring comes, the days get longer and the weather improves. But things still feel bad. So the feeling of badness is not just because it’s winter. The feeling of badness is yours.

Xray of lungs. Photo credit: Adam Ciesielski on FreeImages.

Migration can kill

Since my wander around St Loyes with Rosie King, I’ve been continuing to think about migration patterns. The daily migration of workers on Sowton Industrial Estate became particular obvious to me during “The Birds of Sowton Industrial Estate” as it emptied of cars at the end of the working day. How do we make this migration pattern less harmful? How can we persuade people out of their cars and onto their bikes/feet?

Thomas Merton

Paradoxically, I have found peace because I have always been dissatisfied. My moments of depression and despair turn out to be renewals, new beginnings. . . . All life tends to grow like this, in mystery inscaped with paradox and contradiction, yet centered, in its very heart, on the divine mercy . . . and … Read more

Compline: A contemplative journey through Lent

“Compline: A contemplative journey through Lent” in St Martin’s Church

The ancient close-of-the-day service of Compline, with plainchant and polyphony. Hosted by Margaret Aagesen Hughes (Soprano) and Clare Bryden (Alto). Featuring the music of Bach, Barber and Saint-Saëns, and musicians Ruth Molins, Sophie Brewer (Flute), Emma Welton (Violin), Catherine Bradley (Cello).

Wendy Cope

No coats today. Buds bulge on chestnut trees, And on the doorstep of a big, old house A young man stands and plays his flute. I watch the silver notes fly up And circle in the blue sky above the traffic, Travelling where they will. And suddenly this paving-stone Midway between my front door and … Read more

Kite flying. Photo credit: Sandra Morais on FreeImages.

Catching the wind

Mucknell Abbey, Worcestershire, 10 March 2011 – The anticyclonic frost and cold of the beginning of March has become cyclonic bluster and low cloud. I take advantage of the force 5-ish sou’westerlies, and reach for my kite.

George Bernard Shaw

This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that … Read more

The world is my ostrich. Photo credit: cocoparisienne on Pixabay.

Pitch Me!

I had this little idea of Paying It Forward during 2019. I’m offering up to 3 hours of my time to help you with something inspiring, worthwhile, bonkers, thought-provoking, or maybe even useful. So it’s not wholly altruistic, as I want to have fun too!

"Green|Blue" in Exeter Cathedral

“Looking slant” for Science and Belief blog

Ruth Bancewicz of the Faraday Institute asked me to write a piece for the blog “Science and Belief – A blog about the positive interactions between science and faith”. I finally took the opportunity to write up my reflections about “Green|Blue” more fully.

Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the … Read more

Star field. Photo credit: Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash.

“Star Spangled Kyrangle: Winter Star Lore”

The two events of the Star Spangled Kyrangle were opportunities to bring people together, and encourage them to be attentive to their place, surroundings and nature. The night sky holds many myths and stories in its depths. It has spoken to humanity since our earliest times. We too can step outside and look up, and gaze at the beauty of the night sky, and wonder.

Emily Dickinson

“Hope” is the thing with feathers – That perches in the soul – And sings the tune without the words – And never stops – at all – And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard – And sore must be the storm – That could abash the little Bird That kept so many … Read more

"Listening to Silent Spring"

“Listening to Silent Spring” audio

“Listening to Silent Spring” is a piece of sound art, based on a listening walk around east Exeter on the 50th anniversary of publication of “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson. The sounds I noted became the script for the piece. The work is mostly silence, which allows the listener to become aware of their own ambient soundtrack.

Richard Skinner

Meister Eckhart brings to God A stone How shall I speak of you? It asks By being a stone Says God — Echoes of Eckhart

Star field. Photo credit: Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash.

“Star Spangled Kyrangle: Perseids Shooting Stars”

The Perseids in August are one of the most prolific meteor showers. They take their name from the constellation Perseus, the point in the sky where they appear to come. So on one Monday in August people gathered together on the Kyrangle in Digby to look up as the skies darkened and the planets and stars appeared.

Nayyirah Waheed

in all the falling, flawing, failing. there is the grace of learning. of shedding an old life. for a new. let a new life happen to you.

Franz Kafka

You need not do anything. Remain sitting at your table and listen. You need not even listen, just wait. You need not even wait, just learn to be quiet, still and solitary. And the world will freely offer itself to you unmasked. It has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet. — … Read more

"Working with Gold" in AWEsome Artspace

“See Exeter by Minecraft” at the AWEsome Art Fair

“See Exeter by Minecraft” is a series of old-style railway posters and a postcard, created for the utterly imaginary St Loyes Tourist Board. A second postcard was created for the equally fictitious St Loyes Education Board, and a very one-off poster for the totally fabricated St Loyes Astrophysics Board.

Working with Gold Towers

“Minecraft my home” meetup during Art Week Exeter

“Minecraft my home” is an ongoing activity as part of my “Working with Gold” programme of public art in St Loyes. It is a re-creation of St Loyes as a world in the Minecraft game. During Art Week Exeter, I held a meetup to explore the world together, share what we have been creating, and build more stuff.

Give blood at blood.co.uk

25 pints

Recently I received through the post a small package from the Blood service: a letter, certificate and badge to mark my 25th blood donation. I didn’t expect to feel so honoured and proud.

Nayyirah Waheed

when creating. be kind to your doubt. hear it out. thank it for its concern. and reassure it that you are an artist. and risk is essential. — when creating

What three words...?

“What three words…?”

What three words…? is an online tool that captures in a simple way what places mean to people. It is aimed at encouraging people to pay attention to place. Between January and March 2018, I used it as a way of gathering insights into people’s views of St Loyes as a place to live and/or work.

Emerging mushroom. Photo credit: ekamelev on Pixabay.

Breaking SAD

There are times for everything under the sun. Times for sleeping, times for waking, times for planting, times for reaping, times for getting stuff done, times for taking a step back.

Categories Blog
Axe. Photo credit: Markus Spiske on StockSnap.

Axe-grinding and the morally compromised

The sound of axes being ground is deafening, whether it’s the right-wing press incensed that the UK spends any money on overseas aid, or the UK government seeking to undermine an effective advocacy organisation. UPDATE: If you would like to help the people who Oxfam helps, see the comment for points you can make to your MP.

Game of Life in greyscale

Game of Life

The Game of Life is a pretty standard coding exercise. But what if Life is no longer seen in black and white, and instead in shades of grey? Update: Or in technicolor? And what happens if we tweak the rules?

Cycling along the shore. Photo credit: Peter J on FreeImages.

Clare goes for a bike ride

Clare is seduced by the sunshine symbol on her weather forecast app into going for a bike ride around Exeter. She plans to drop in on the FLOW tree planting on Exe Mill Field and the Ziggurat painting on Paris St to see how they are getting on.

The Art Vending Machine, November 2017

Update on the Art Vending Machine

My “Green|Blue” tiny tears were on sale in the Art Vending Machine during November and December. I’ve just had an update from The Vendor, with news of sales so far and some upcoming appearances.

Marianne Williamson

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of … Read more

Antiphon ...and the Greatest of these is Love. Im age credit: Willowhayne Records.

“…and the Greatest of these is Love”

In their second album, Antiphon presents world premiere recordings of three choral works by Michael Walsh: an unaccompanied Mass of the Holy Trinity; a full-scale Requiem Mass; and The Way of Love, a setting of five love poems by Rupert Brooke. We recorded it in July 2017 in the crossing and Lady Chapel in Exeter Cathedral.

Economic forecasting. Photo credit: geralt on Pixabay.

Nudge nudge

Question: “Is it easier to forecast the weather, which obeys the laws of physics, or the economy, in which the actors are swayed by the forecasts?”

Categories Blog

Meister Eckhart

Wisdom consists in doing the next thing you have to do, doing it with your whole heart, and finding delight in doing it.

Fishing Boats with Eye of Horus (KNOW MALTA) by Peter Grima from MALTA - FISHING BOATS, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=57478646

Second Curve

I heard management guru Charles Handy speak at Greenbelt on the need for second, third fourth… curves to living a fulfilling life.

Categories Blog
Particulart is rife with pattern, from knitting patterns, to chemical representations and rules of the game.

“Patterns” at St Sidwells

Over the last couple of months, I’ve been part of a group assembled by the force of nature that is Veronica Gosling at Studio 36. We’ve been bouncing ideas around and exploring inspirations on the theme of “Patterns”, and working towards a performance at St Sidwell’s Community Centre on 21 October.

Recording “The Way of Love”

I’m in the middle of three evenings recording another CD with Antiphon. This one is of music by the contemporary composer Michael Walsh.

Categories News
Labels on little boxes. Photo credit: Sanwal Deen on Stocksnap.

Label-free

Clare Bryden. Label-free. The Porch Magazine, May/June 2017.
Who am I? I can and do slap any number of labels on myself. I am not alone. Other people slap labels on themselves. We slap labels on each other. Then the labels I give myself and others affect how I see myself, how I see others, how I expect them to see me, and how I interact with them.

AF, Exeter

There are those of us who talk about what we’d like to happen and those, like you, who act to ensure it does!

"Green|Blue: Patternings"

“Green|Blue” in Exeter Cathedral

After Art Week Exeter, I had a week to turn around and prep the next outing for “Green|Blue”. And it was my most high profile yet: a solo show in the Cathedral! Featuring work previously shown at Dartington Garden Room Gallery, work coming up at Fringe Arts Bath, and new “Patternings”.

William Blake

To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour — Auguries of Innocence

Boscastle-Tintagel on Open Street Map

Safety net

My map is a comfort blanket. Its grid lines are a safety net that give me the confidence to stride out. It gives me a sense of being in control.

Categories Blog
TEDxExeter 2017 HOPE. Design by Dacors.

Imaging HOPE

Written for TEDxExeter 2017 “HOPE”: Images are extraordinarily powerful. Those able to see, see before we learn to read, and orient our world by sight. They can convey truth, and they can manipulate, so should we be hopeful or despairing?

TEDxExeter 2017 HOPE. Design by Dacors.

A fortnight of HOPEful responses

Written for TEDxExeter 2017 “HOPE”: During 82 seconds on Wednesday 22 March, Briton Khalid Masood drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, killing and injuring more than 50 people; fatally stabbed an unarmed police officer in New Palace Yard; and was shot and killed by an armed police officer. Over the next fortnight, these were some of the responses.

Douglas Carlton Abrams

The three factors that seem to have the greatest influence on increasing our happiness are our ability to reframe our situation more positively, our ability to experience gratitude, and our choice to be kind and generous. — from The Book of Joy, with Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu and Douglas

TEDxExeter 2017 HOPE. Design by Dacors.

Voices of HOPE

Written for TEDxExeter 2017 “HOPE”: Music has played an important role in many social movements, bringing hope to millions, fostering community, and encouraging perseverance in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.

TEDxExeter 2017 HOPE. Design by Dacors.

HOPE and Joy

Written for TEDxExeter 2017 “HOPE”: The Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu got together for a week to talk about the challenges of living a joyful life. The result was “The Book of Joy”.

Star field. Photo credit: Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash.

Wiggle Room in the Universe

Clare Bryden. Wiggle room in the universe. The Porch Magazine, October 2016.
“Suppose you had the revolution you are talking and dreaming about. Suppose your side had won, and you had the kind of society that you wanted. How would you live, you personally, in that society? Start living that way now!” – Paul Goodman. Clare Bryden embraces Rebecca Solnit’s vision of Hope in the Dark.

TEDxExeter 2017 HOPE. Design by Dacors.

A new HOPE

Written for TEDxExeter 2017 “HOPE”: What was the last line we saw Carrie Fisher (albeit a CGI-reconstructed ever-youthful Carrie Fisher) deliver in a movie before she died?

"Artist Toys", Berlin 2016. Image credit: Rekha Sameer and contributing artists.

“Little colouring book: Winter Blues” in the “Artist Toys” exhibition

The idea for the “Little colouring books” originated partly in the games I made for my “Particulart: Up in the Air” show. It seemed a natural progession to create more playful engagement with climate change. Although the maps are of the UK, they can be applied elsewhere, and I am very happy that they have made their way to other lands.

Clare at the Particulart Knit-Your-Own Carbon Dioxide workshop

What is Art?

Clare Bryden. Particulart: the art of knitting, chemistry, and gentle protest. Average Art Magazine, “What is Art?” issue, 1 December 2016.

Both side of the Soul Cube

World Origami Day

In modern times, origami has been used as a beacon of hope. I created the origami “Soul Cube” to help me get past that powerful critical voice in my head and access the deeper nurturing wise voice that speaks words I need to hear.

Global graphical web. Photo credit: geralt, Pixabay.

Graphical Web

This week I’ve been geeking out at Graphical Web, “an annual, global conference that showcases the many new open source technologies available for presenting visual information on the web.”

Vanessa Kisuule

Believe the compliments you are given. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt. Don’t doubt the benefits of being the brightest shade of you on the spectrum. — Take Up Space

Ghost Bees at Teignmouth Recycled Art in the Landscape

The Dark Arts

I’m delighted that my Ghost Bees are going to appear during October in the Barnfield Theatre gallery.

Henry Ford

Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right. Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. Don’t find fault, find a remedy. Thinking is the hardest work there is, which … Read more

Ghost Bees at Teignmouth Recycled Art in the Landscape

Knit your own bee

You are welcome to download my instructions for making “Ghost Bees”, which includes a knitting pattern for the body, a size guide for cutting out the wings from milk cartons, and instructions for assembly.

Prints and greetings cards on sale in the shop

For sale

Some people suggested they would like to buy my artwork. So I have set up an online shop, where you can get hold of prints and greetings cards based on “Touch:Triptych”, “Green|Blue”, and “Little colouring books”.

Kathryn Schulz

And to me, if you really want to rediscover wonder, you need to step outside of that tiny, terrified space of rightness and look around at each other and look out at the vastness and complexity and mystery of the universe and be able to say, ‘Wow, I don’t know. Maybe I’m wrong.’ — On … Read more

Honey bees are struggling against changing landuse, climate change, and pesticides. Photo credit: lev olson via Free Images.

Hitting the TRAIL

Just had confirmation that my new Ghost Bees are going to be appearing in Teignmouth Recycled Art in the Landscape… yay!

Detail from one of the Green|Blue images

God’s eye view

I’ve been working on a set of 21 images of flood risk around the south coast of England, from Sussex to Bristol. What has emerged is a beautiful forest of sometimes fragile, sometimes twisted trees.

Søren Kierkegaard

In prosperity, may you grant perseverance to will one thing Amid distraction, collectedness to will one thing In suffering, patience to will one thing. — Purity of Heart Is to Will One Thing

TEDxExeter 2016 Dreams to Reality. Design by Dacors.

I have a dream

Written for TEDxExeter 2016 “Dreams to Reality”: Martin Luther King dreamed of a better world, and he had been to the mountaintop. And yet it wasn’t about the mountain, but about the view over the mountain to what lies ahead.

Kathryn Schulz

Here’s the thing, if we have goals and dreams, and we want to do our best, and if we love people and we don’t want to hurt them or lose them, we should feel pain when things go wrong. The point isn’t to live without any regrets. The point is to not hate ourselves for … Read more

Particulart at the Glorious Art House gallery

Raffle for refugees

The fantastic folk in Fore Street Exeter are holding a Cheese and Wine Fundraiser for Refugees, to include a raffle of artworks and craft. I am donating a carbon dioxide molecule, also under the aegis of Free Art Friday Exeter. Further donations from artists and makers still very welcome.

A hymn to bees, written for Third Way magazine

A hymn to bees

Clare Bryden. A hymn to bees. Third Way Magazine, March 2016.
As the first shoots and blooms appear, Clare Bryden welcomes the returning buzz of bees, and takes a year-round look at the complex threats to these and other pollinators so necessary to the interconnected web of creation.

TEDxExeter 2016 Dreams to Reality. Design by Dacors.

First a dream

Written for TEDxExeter 2016 “Dreams to Reality”: “All we need to begin with is a dream that we can do better than before. All we need to have is faith, and that dream will come true. All we need to do is act, and the time for action is now.”

Robin Houghton

Start a new project, set a new goal or find a way to inspire others, on your own terms. Don’t just use your talent, give it away at every opportunity. To share it is to feed it. — On Literary Envy

"Something Wonderful in My Back Yard - The Musical"

“Something Wonderful in My Back Yard”

“Something Wonderful in My Back Yard – The Musical” was originally conceived by producer Chloe Uden, and written by poet Matt Harvey and composer Thomas Hewitt Jones. The musical songbook features “Particulart” and the pattern for knit-your-own carbon dioxide!

Antiphon O My People, recorded August 2015 in the Lady Chapel, Exeter Cathedral

“O My People”

Antiphon’s “O My People” is “A collection of sublime 20th and 21st century a cappella choral music, including several world première recordings.” We recorded it in August 2015 in the magnificent acoustic of the Lady Chapel in Exeter Cathedral.

Ploughed field in Ludwell Valley Park

Talks, sermons, lectures and media – Climate and environment

Drawing on my work at the Met Office, on the Shrinking the Footprint campaign in the Diocese of Exeter, as an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Exeter, as a member of Transition Exeter, and while living in the eco-monastery at Mucknell Abbey.