18 June 2009

Dazzling and inspirational Methodist Art Collection now online

A masculine Christ, a radiating Abel eyed by a simmering Cain and a floating vision of a dove are just a few of the works of art now online in the Methodist Art Collection: http://www.methodist.org.uk/artcollection.

Art lovers have already been inspired by the Collection, which began in the 1960s following the enthusiasm of Methodists Dr John Gibbs and Revd Douglas Wollen and the help of a charitable fund. It includes more than 40 works by Graham Sutherland, Elisabeth Frink and many other renowned artists from William Roberts's 'The Crucifixion' in the early 1920s to Ghislaine Howard's 2004 'The washing of the Feet'. The modern creative expressions of Christian faith come alive through a range of materials; from oil through to tempera and gouache, acrylic through to aluminium.

Toby Scott, Director of Communications and Campaigns, said: "The touring Collection if often on display, but its online debut makes is available to everyone at any one time. The works challenge the way we think of God, and how we visualise Jesus. Religious art has been at a cornerstone of western art for centuries, but these works of art continue to find new ways to depict the divine. The website is delight for art lovers and anyone seeking a different way to think about faith."

Most of the online works are accompanied by commentaries, either from the artists themselves or by art critic Francis Hoyland.

David Webster, Internet Communications Coordinator, said: "This is a great new resource for people, whether Christian or not. Looking at the images in the art collection is an exciting way to reflect on the Christian message. Now they are accessible online this will also make more people aware of the Collection, and hopefully inspire them to visit the touring exhibition."

Information on the work and on the artist can be found, together with a relevant Bible passage, in 'The Methodist Church Collection of Modern Christian Art: An Introduction' by Roger Wollen, published in 2000 by the Trustees of the Collection (ISBN 0-9538135-0-9). In full colour, it is obtainable at £3.50 from Methodist Publishing www.methodistpublishing.org.uk.

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