Saturday 29 October 2016. A year after the evening at the Spring Bank Arts Centre, I returned to New Mills, this time for the launch of ‘Poems and Songs from the Bridge’. It was a small, intimate affair which lent itself perfectly to the deeply personal material. A beautiful evening spent with friends old and new.
The annual C4M exhibition, this year themed as ‘Reflection’ ran from 6-
The Lost and Found exhibition, where I exhibited as a guest artist, was part of the Merton Arts Festival and ran from 15-
Fri 2 Sept 2016. A landmark. My first publication, ‘Poems and Songs from the Bridge’, an anthology of 21 of my poems and songs, arrived on my doorstep. Some of these, ‘Plea’, ‘Broken’ and ‘Love’, for example, had already seen public exposure at the previous Art Evenings but others, like ‘Descent’ had, up until now stayed hidden for more than a decade. Four years ago I would never have imagined it possible. Strange days.
After spending the winter in Derbyshire, ‘The Bridge’ moved north for the season of Lent where it was hosted by Middlesbrough Cathedral on Teesside. During its time there, I gave two expositions on Friday 18th and Monday 21st March in a side chapel where ‘The Bridge’ was being exhibited. What a privilege it was to be able to share some of my story about how God had brought me out of addiction and depression into a place of freedom and creativity using words, poetry and song. For the first time, I sang ‘Broken’ in public.
‘Gift’ was my first exhibition with Commission4Mission, a London-
‘I completed ‘The Bridge’ in March. Soon after, having seen it online, Tom Taylor, the manager of Revive Cafe, a church outreach in New Mills, Derbyshire, (and my cousin) shared it with the elders of his church, Revive. Some of them were very impacted by the piece and made a propsal whereby they would hire the local arts centre if I would come and do a talk on the piece. I agreed. Then, it just so happened that Henry Walsh, a member of their church who was also an artist, was exhibiting in London at the time and kindly offered to transport ‘The Bridge’ back to Derbyshire for me. So it was that, on a balmy Friday evening on the 30th October 2015, I found myself standing in front of my painting with an expectant crowd sat in front of me at the Spring Bank Arts Centre in New Mills, High Peaks. Not having done this sort of thing before, I was, to be honest, terrified (although, as if to prepare me, I did have years of experience as a teacher and worship leader). Needless to say, with God’s blessing, the evening went beyond all expectations. As I told the story of the painting, using poetry and songs I’d written, to illustrate the message behind the image, we were all profoundly affected. People told me afterwards that they felt it was an ‘anointed’ evening, that they were deeply moved whilst others felt able to share their own struggles with addiction and mental illness with me. It was an unforgettable evening and I felt very humbled to have been a part of it.
‘In July, 2014 I took part in my very first exhibition. ‘Stick ‘Em Up’ was at 'Husk' in the Departure Gallery in Limehouse, East London. It was all so new and, a slightly terrifying experience yet I had finally pushed my boat out into the ocean…
Thanks to Ally Gordon of Morphe Arts for his encouragement. On the right, a limited edition of ‘Redemption’ hangs below Colin Burn’s beautiful piece taken from his ‘Secret Forest’ collection.
A new venture of AnthonyHodgsonArt is Music4All, which aims to create a portable, inclusive recording studio. As of May it has now met over £1000 of its projected costs via crowdfunder.co.uk. A huge thank you to all you benefactors from near and far: your generosity was amazing. It simply could not have happened without you.
With a new year, ‘The Bridge’ moved south from North Yorkshire to Norfolk where it found a new home as part of a Commission4Mission exhibition entitled ‘The Cross’ at The Hostry, Norwich Cathedral. This was C4M’s longest exhibition yet, lasting from 20 April to 29 May 2017. Harvey Bradley took on much of the organising and did an excellent job. The exhibition explored the cross as a Christian symbol within society and was very varied in its artistic application, both in traditional and modernist interpretations as well as the materials used. Several artists -
AnthonyHodgsonArt: how it began….