This is a short (highly speeded up) digital animation of the drawing created by Matt Lawrence at the Cathedral during Sunday evening’s Thy Kingdom Come service.
It was drawn live over the period of an hour and a half, directly in response to the worship. Inspiration for each stage of the drawing came from the prayers, music and words spoken. No part of it was pre-planned or thought-out – but by being a repsonse to the occasion, I hope that it will have had reasonance for those taking part.
As my live drawings are not planned I wait for a phrase or piece of imagery to come to me, and have to trust in the fact that it will lead to something else later on. As I work, I am hoping to discover a visual thread or series of ‘transitions’ that will make graphic sense and create an underlying narrative. Often this will only come to me after I have started drawing an individual stage, making me feel that the whole creation is an improvisation inspired by the Holy Spirit. There are moments when I can feel a slight panic, but have learned to trust in the fact that some imagery will come!
The piece was given initial inspiration by Tim Dakin, Bishop of Winchester, in his prayers to the group before the worship began. He talked of Jesus holding us all up and supporting us in what we did. Being Pentecost, the imagery of flames coming from Jesus’s lips was an obvious one, and I liked the idea of a white dove showing up within that, as it is a common portrayal of the Holy Spirit.
As I was drawing this, Bishop Tim’s opening address mentioned Thy Kingdom Come being a worldwide event, and from this came the notion of white crosses spreading like a ‘big bang’ from an orange background that I could easily create from the flames I had already drawn. I like combining more abstract elements in my drawings, so that not all focus need be on the quality of draftsmanship. The crosses could then multiply to give me a white background again – graphically useful!
The picture of a kneeling solitary figure came to me, and I soon realised this was a way of focusing on us as individuals – that the Holy Spirit can work through each of us. I hesitated to use the flame imagery again, as I didn’t want to repeat myself in that, but looking at my colour palette I realised there was the opportunity to create a rainbow effect, and the fact that the flames could transition into drops and blue could become ‘water of life’ felt like an opportunity I had to take.
Having drawn some plant life emerge from the water, I stopped drawing till fresh inspiration came. Keira Phyo in her address, referred to John’s gospel (ch 4) telling of Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at the well – giving me the next part of the drawing’s narrative. From there it was a short mental hop to her earlier comment about the young people at the front of the audience – and how their interest in the well (of life) was indicative of the next step for all of us.
I thought I was done, but superimposing part of the TKC logo felt like a way of specifying the event, and Keira’s call for us to go out and use our faith led to some quick squiggles of the outlines of those friends and colleagues we might want to bring to the well, before I had to finish the drawing.