The secret art project which couldn't be spoken about has come to life and can now be shared.
Greenbelt Festival asked me several months ago if I'd be willing to create a piece of art, on the theme of angels, gifts and thanks, which could be made by everyone at the Sunday morning Communion service. I couldn't quite believe I'd been asked and of course I said yes.
I spent a few days in prayer, painting about how thankful I am for God with me every day, about the blessing that is Greenbelt and the gift of friends who I've made through the festival. The result is the painting you can see here.
I gave my artwork to the amazing artist Louise, who figured out a way to make the painting LIVE at the Sunday service, from tissue paper flowers made by the thousand or so people at the service, saturated in their prayers, then placed into a grid of squares to create my art. In 30 minutes!!!?
As you can see, they made it happen. Amazingly, colourfully, angelically.
Here's a photo of Louise and some of the team who made my art from the flowers full of prayers. I'm so thankful for their work allowing my digital painting to become a collaborative installation.
I'm not well enough to go to Greenbelt this year, but the festival team managed to live stream the service which I joined in with from bed.
Here are some screenshots I took during the live stream including me on the screen explaining a little about my art and how everyone was going to create it. They're obviously not high quality, but I hope they give you a feel for the amazing undertaking.
Many people who were at the communion on site have sent me photos capturing the creation of the angel art. I'm really thankful to have received these. Here are a few in a collage.
As you can see below our art shared the stage with the wonderful Fischy Music whose music was as fabulous as ever.
The service was led by David and Carrie Grant and here you can see Carrie leading an applause as the art everyone created was raised above the stage.
You can hear even more about the Greenbelt Festival and this piece of collaborative art on Songs of Praise on the BBC on Sunday 17th September. The team came to film with me on Friday before heading to Greenbelt and I'm sure it'll be a great representation of the festival.
It has been such an honour to be able to offer my creativity, a privilege to see how Louise made it possible, and a joy to watch it come to life thanks to everyone's flowers of prayers and the amazing team of volunteers.
And finally... Why don't you watch the service online, I'm sure you'll love it. https://www.youtube.com/live/RsPSLX9da1s?si=sqnFB-9MN9YpkIjK