Rest. That elusive concept that never quite fulfils or refreshes. But what does it mean to truly rest? Jesus said ” Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” In his reflection on the (often misunderstood and easily manipulated) commandment to ‘Remember the Sabbath and Keep it Holy”, theologian Walter Brueggeman talks about Rest and ‘Sabbath’ as a form of resistance and the call to imagine an alternative to the “demanding, chattering, pervasive presence” of wealth, market and media.
But what does it look like to live this out in an often relentless production-driven (art) world? How do we work out a healthy rhythm of life without the treadmill mentality which is constantly trying to prove oneself? How do we spend time reflecting, processing and even resting when we are always marching forward (often with good intentions)? How do we imagine an alternative way of making, producing and commissioning art in community with one another where human beings are enabled to genuinely flourish and find meaning and identity?
These are some of the things we are going to be exploring over the next four months as an organisation.
PROCESS October 2018 – February 2018
After over 8 years of being open to the public and commissioning, curating, facilitating and hosting hundreds of projects, exhibitions and events we are entering into a research and development process to dedicate time to PROCESS, focusing our attentions on where we feel God is leading the project and what is ahead for us as an organisation. Between October 2018 and February 2019 we have taken the decision to close the gallery programme and set aside quality time to PROCESS and examine our values, aims and objectives as team as well as time for individual staff research and partnership building. As part of this we have commissioned artists and writers to help us think through these issues (see below for details). This will also allow us to more fully focus our energies on being more present and active in the local community through an artist in residence programme, Painting for Fun and Dwellbeing projects, growing our work with Universities and students and developing our Mixing Bowl programme. We feel very privileged to be in a position to do this and are grateful to our Trustees and Advisory Board for their support.
As part of our PROCESS period we have started doing some thinking about what rest should look like in the rhythm of Holy Biscuit life. Rest is part of the process. There is a purpose for pausing and reflecting – an intentionality about it. So how do we create a rhythm for the next phase of Holy Biscuit that isn’t a relentless hamster wheel? We have commissioned Dundee based artist David McCulloch to create a 7 poster billboard installation in our garden area, as an external visualisation and signal of our internal process. We don’t want to keep our thinking to ourselves, but instead we want to stimulate interaction and dialogue around these issues of work, labour and rest. We hope that this will be installed by the end of November, so keep your eyes peeled as you walk or drive past.
PROCESS Writer in Residence
As we spend this time reflecting on our values and vision as an organisation we want our thought process to be understood outside our small office and flip-chart sheet scribbles. We have asked our HB friend Huw Evans to be our writer in residence in order to articulate our musing. Huw will chat with us about our team discussions and then write a series of blog posts, which can be found on the blog page of our website. We are also hoping to produce a publication that collates our thinking, reflections on our HOST and Artistory projects and how this all informs our values and vision for the next phase of HB. Huw will form a commentary that draws a thread through this publication, which we hope to publish next spring.
Mixing Bowl is a mixture of people from different backgrounds committed to exploring what faith, art and shared life looks like outside of the traditional church context. We meet twice monthly at Holy Biscuit and always enjoy a meal together as part of our gathering. We discuss, experience and reflect on an artwork or topic that has caught our attention, and pray together. In keeping with the HB PROCESS, this term we will be thinking about what it means to rest.
The term dates to put in your diary are as follows:
October 9, 23
November 13, 27
We hope that you will be able to come along and look forward to the creative discussions and reflections to come! If you haven’t been to Mixing Bowl before it’d be great to have you and feel free to bring friends / family / neighbours! All Welcome!