Cristo in luoghi ordinari

(tr. Christ in ordinary places)

A couple of months ago I was In Florence where I had been invited by the Methodist Church to go and make some art. It was a real privilege, but a daunting prospect.  

The city itself is astounding, with world class art and architecture to be seen at every turn. I spent the first couple of days wandering around bewildered at the beauty. Overwhelmed by the creative exuberance and skill of the Renaissance I was left stuck with a sense that it was impossible for me to make art here.

Nevertheless, I’m becoming more tuned into the dynamics of the creative process and waited for the creative spark to come. A waiting which, I guess, is an act of faith. As I waited It began to feel like the intense beauty was beating me over the head; after all, much, if not all of the art and architecure on display was made as symbols of power, wealth and control. So I turned away from the Cathedrals, statues and Renassance frescoes and started to look at the dirty little corners and the strange little cracks in the city. And I started to look downwards at the gutters with their fag ends and away from the crowds at the crumbling plaster walls down back alleyways.

It seems to me that the Jesus I experience would be more at home in the grimy forgotten corner than in the Uffizi or the Duomo.

I fall short of Michaelangelo, Da Vinci et al by a million miles but these photographs of my image of Christ on discarded cardboard that I made whilst I was over there are my fumbling attempts to begin to explore what it might mean to find him in the ordinary places. In many of the photos if I had moved my camera by a few degrees you could have seen one of the many great sites and wonders of Florence. That’s where everyone elses cameras were pointing and I hope they found what they were looking for; I chose to look elsewhere.

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