Art and Worship

Lent and Easter 2018 We hosted a large art installation by Birmingham artist Jake Lever 

The work:

  • inspired and challenged us in our Sunday and weekday worship
  • attracted guest preachers to share their gifts and insights;
  • gave focus for a Saturday Quiet Day;
  • prompted us to explore creatively our worship space;
  • led us to a social evening, and viewing the film ‘The Way’ starring Martin Sheen – about the pilgrimage to St James, Compostella;   
  • welcomed All Saints’ Junior School for a day of exploration on Church ‘Artistry’.


And it all began on Lent 1 with the question: Where’s the boat?

The artwork was a focal point at our Lent and Easter services

It ended on 15th April 2018) when we welcomed artist Jake Lever to our worship to hear what inspired him to create The Blue and the Dim and the Gold.   It was also a chance to share with him our thoughts and feelings about our journey with the artwork.

‘I approach my work as a spiritual exercise, a contemplative practice through which I seek a deeper understanding of myself, and my place in the world. Whilst my practice references a diverse range of historical influences including Neolithic carvings, Byzantine icons and Chinese painting, I seek to make work that is an authentic, soulful response to living now.

Jake Lever FRSA  


‘This picture makes me feel excited and scared.’

‘This painting makes me feel safe, strange as well.  It makes me think of a forest in daylight and if I were painted into it I would be a tree, reaching for the stars in the night sky.  I would not choose to live there though.’  

‘It makes me feel scary, unusual and deep.  I think it’s when the world turned black when Jesus dies and the red is his blood.  I think the gold is God forgiving sins and when the Holy Spirit came.’  

‘I think it’s ‘The Tempest’ because it looks like magic is coming out of the boat.’  

‘When I see the picture it reminds me of darkness, war and fire.  I feel lonely and a bit sad.  I think that the picture is unique.’ 

‘In the picture I see a backwards G and an O, D to spell GOD.  The picture is huge as I think of shows God’s love.  I think it means friendship.  The dark is his death and the gold is his resurrection.’  

‘It makes me feel confused.  Hate/life/beauty/death/reflection/sadness/world/peace/wounds/people.’

‘If you look carefully at the bottom of the picture, you can see and boat and person in it.  I think the person is Jesus and he is calming the sea.  Personally, I love this picture.  Because it’s so big I think this indicates how much God loves US!’

‘Path/powerful/boat/dawn/melting/creativity/opening up/stepping in to the unknown.’

‘If I was in the painting I would be in the forest.  I think the boat is going down the river to the other side of the forest.  It is sunrise and forest is waking up.’ 

‘Where is the man on the boat going?  Why did Jake pick a name like that?  Why is it so moody and sad?  Was there a huge fight? Why does it look like blood dripping from the clouds?’  

‘…Why is the sky made of bricks?  Why are there splat balls on the trees?’  

‘The picture has some differences.  Its golden top looks a bit like heaven, but the dark forest is a bit like earth and the wrong things we do.

I would put myself in the gold because all I want is happiness.  The person in the boat might be trying to get away form the dark, sad place and trying to find happiness and love.’