Abraham Kuyper once said, “In the total expanse of human life there is not a single square inch of which the Christ, who alone is sovereign, does not cry, ‘Mine!’” Everything we do, no matter how ‘spiritual’, can reflect the Kingdom which is at hand. Every Christian should therefore be engaging theologically with their life and work, and this engagement is often particularly rich in the sphere of the arts – that is simply their nature. Hence, the Wayfarer Arts Conference – an opportunity for artists to examine together some of the ways their work echoes through eternity, not just when they compose hymns or paint crosses.
In fact, the need is more acute than that suggests. For many Christians in the arts, spirituality is a really sticky issue. They struggle to find opportunities to engage in the faith questions which arise from their particular experience of life and work. They often feel misunderstood and undervalued by churches who have inherited a tradition of suspicion regarding the arts. For some, this is compounded by a sense of loneliness – sometimes due to the nature of the creative process, sometimes due to this sense of alienation.
At the conference, we hope to offer spiritual input which is tailored to the concerns which arise from the personality, as well as the vocation, of artists. There will be plenty of time to build community and flesh out ideas in the context of real life and real art. Lee Abbey (Devon, UK) is an ideal location for reflection and restoration, with an estate comprising 280 acres of woodland, farmland and shoreline. If any of this grabs you, take a look at http://wayfarerartsconference.wordpress.com/ and get in touch. It’ll be a truly international conference, with artists from eight countries signed up so far.
Where: Lee Abbey, North Devon Coast, UK
When: 11th to 17th July 2011
How much: Prices start at £299