Exeter Cathedral statues. Image credit Ali May on FreeImages

Where prayer is valid

During the days between Ascension and Pentecost, I found myself ruminating about Exeter Cathedral as building and people, prompted by the lack of access of most people during the Coronavirus lockdown to the church buildings we know and love.

"Letting go" installation, for Thy Kingdom Come 2019

Thy Kingdom Come 2019

Thy Kingdom Come is a global wave of prayer uniting Christians around the world during the days from Ascension Day to Pentecost. From 30 May to 9 June 2019, Exeter Cathedral is hosting a special prayer room in the Grandisson Chapel tucked into the West Front. Based on the parable of the hidden treasure, I’ve set up a small installation with a small action to help people pray.

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.

"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.

Iona Abbey, a thin place. Photo credit: daisiem on Pixabay.

A prayer story

This is a slightly longer version of an article I wrote for Exeter Cathedral’s monthly magazine, the first in what is hoped to be a regular feature focusing on the prayer lives of members of the Cathedral community. There are as many different understandings and types of prayer as there are different people.

Soul Sanctuary Gospel Choir

Action in a World of Contemplation *

Greenbelt is a festival of arts, faith and justice, held over the August Bank Holiday. The programme is huge, so to help me manage it I often choose a theme. This year I didn’t, consciously at any rate, but it became apparent as the weekend unfolded that I’d ringed quite a lot of talks relating to contemplation and action

"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.

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.

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.

What apocalypse lies behind frosted glass?

Zombie Apocalypse

“I would ask you to take a walk on your own (where and at what time of day is up to you) for at least half an hour. I would like you to walk ‘as’ the last human survivor of a zombie apocalypse.”

View of St Michael's Mount from the top of James Turrells' Tewlwolow Kernow at Tremenheere Sculpture Parl

Tewlwolow Kernow

It was a hot bright day during the 2013 summer heatwave. I approached from below through the gardens recently planted with exotics from even hotter climes. I passed through a circular seating space, an antechamber, through a narrow door into a low and dark space stoppered by light in front and behind, and opened out suddenly into bright height.

Forget-me-nots on the verge of Ludwell Valley Park... now wantonly strimmed!

Wildflower whispers!

Now is the time when we most need our pollinators, and our pollinators need wildflowers to thrive. So I have been feeling sad over the last few days about the acres of wildflowers in the verges in Exeter that are being strimmed, and took it upon myself to protest a little…

Digging where we stand. Photo credit: goiwara on Pixabay.

Digging where we stand

Clare Bryden. Digging where we stand. Third Way Magazine, June 2013.
Driven by restless searching, our modern world often seems to undermine the very community we crave. But Clare Bryden believes that’s an invitation to dig deeper for the roots that truly sustain us.

Blackbird singing. Photo credit: Alexander Wallnöfer via Free Images.

Silent Spring

Today is the 50th anniversary of the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. In its honour, I am spending a couple of hours walking around my neighbourhood listening for bird song. In the meantime, here are three short posts I wrote a year and a half ago, reflecting on the book.

Blackberries. Photo credit: Benjamin Stangland via Free Images.

Summer fruits

I was away from Exeter for a couple of weeks, and when I returned (though I returned) I remained absent. It was several days before I remembered it was ‘high summer’ and there was free fruit to be had in Ludwell Valley Park and along the suburban margins.

Woodwater Lane by night

Woodwater by night

I spent a day immured in the office at the computer, feeling wintry-cold while it rained and rained. By night-time, I was completely frowstie at being stuck indoors. As the rain had pretty much dried up, I decided on some mythogeography. Going for walks at odd times, like 10.30pm, follows mythogeographical principles, after all.

Digby Water Tower on a Woodwater wander

Woodwater wander

As a birthday treat, I promised myself a walk down Woodwater Lane, from home to water to wood to home again. A satisfying experimentation in exploring the present day.

Local explorations triggered by a corn cockle

From wood to water

Yesterday, cycling down a section of Woodwater Lane, I noticed a corn cockle in the bank. It struck me that I have cycled down the lane many a time, walked down it occasionally, picked blackberries at that time of year, but I have never really paid attention to it.

A common house martin in the nest. Photo credit: HTO under GFDL licence via Wikimedia Commons.

The migrants’ return

This week I am happy because “my” house martins have returned. It happened on Tuesday. As I was sitting at my desk, suddenly there was a rush of gurgling and chuckling, and I looked out of my window to see madcap aerobatics.

Sustainability in Our Interconnected World. Photo credit: GDJ on Pixabay.

Great expectations

Expectation can be good; having high expectations of students can lead them to do better. People in general tend to live up to or down to expectations. The problem is when the expectations are unrealistic.