Open Door is a charity in Milton Keynes which supports the homeless and ex homeless in a range of ways, including it appears using art. At the moment they have an art exhibition running in Christ the Cornerstone Church. This is one of a couple of exibitions currently on display in the community centred building. The church FB page tells me that the art is hung in the church cloister, I just thought it was the corridor surrounding the big chapel in the church :).
There was a great variety of pieces on display ranging from soap sculptures inspired by Barbara Hepworth to pencil drawings, abstract paintings and charcol etchings amongst others. My personal favourites included a set of plates which were painted in different designs.
The art varies from the enthusisatic amateur to the definately talented and I think that was one of the joys of the exhibition – the ordered variety in what was on offer.
On a hot day seeing that, along with the other exhibition currently on display and the beach hut which is outside as part of the fringe festival made me smile. On a day when I was feeling frustrated and annoyed, (as much with myself as with anybody), these bits of community art made me feel connected to the world beyond me again and a bit more aware of my connection with God.
And that’s one of the things I am most learning to love about the building of the church I worship in – they value art. Yet, and it’s what I have to admit confuses me lots about the place too. They have a resource which they share with the wider community – the space which they use to exibit the art and the more permanent pieces – yet they don’t seem to fully recognise the opportunity or spirituality within this. Looking around the web there is no way of telling what exhibitions are currently on and what suprises might be encountered within the building. The artists are, I suspect, just seen as other users and the art as another part of the “non-spiritual” use of the building. Yet, art is by its very creative nature a spiritual thing – engaging with a beautiful piece is just as spiritually uplifting, if not more so on occassion, than anything which might go on within one of the two chapel areas. To my mind the gallery is one of the most special things the church has to offer, (but then I am an artsy hippy type).
Anyway, if you happen to be in the area and interested the exhibition is on until 6th August. The beach hut in the garden, which is shown below, is there until I think until the 29th July – when the fringe festival ends.