Gary Powell and Andrew Foster
Gary Powell: statement
"Faith to Faith"
exhibition at the EICH Gallery, University of Lincolnshire and Humberside
28 September to 2 November 2001
"Faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen"
Most people have faith in something, even if they are not aware of it. Children look at their parents in sure knowledge that food will be offered them, they have faith in their parents. Men and women wait for buses to get them to work on time, they have faith in the driver and the company. Holiday makers get on a plane and assume the pilot has a licence and will get them there safely, they have faith in the the system of selection and training. We all arrange to meet friends and arrive at the agreed time having faith in the others to turn up, we have faith in our friends.
A child develops faith in its parents because of constant love and care. We wait at bus stops because in our experiance of life we can hope with some certainty that a bus will come. We board planes in the same hope and make good friends with the same enthusiasm that they will enrich our lives and vice versa.
I believe there is more to life than meets the eye. It is more than the reality we perceive and filled with mysteries waiting to be unraveled. I have faith and believe in a God.
For the early part of my life I was brought up in Jamaica. I remember being fascinated with the most fantastical images in my Grandmother's Bible. The intriguing stories of angels, burning bushes, parting of the Red Sea etc were vividly brought to life. It also brought questions. I remember a passing thought: were all angels white?
I have been blessed with growing up in a loving family, with principles and attitudes rooted in love that has shaped my personality and outlook I feel in a positive way.
Despite having grown up with certain principles and attitudes of how to treat people (that were rooted in the Bible) that I still subscribed to as part of my everyday outlook and attitude, God and the church became less relevant to the way things appeared to be.
From a bit part at weddings. funerals etc. there was no longer a role for God in my everyday life and I was enjoying life thank you very much. Without going out to look for one I began considering the realisation of somthing greater. I was beginning to feel there was more to life, that for me there was the reality of a God, just as clear as the reality of a love for a physical person (eg my wife). I do not know where it came from, I wasn't depressed about life, but had to admit to myself that for me this was real, real on the inside.
Faith now underpins my life, ignites hopes, joys, expectations, affects my actions and reactions to positive and negative circumstances. It's a radar through unclear situations, gives insight and foresights and wondrously enhances life as well as giving it deep purpose and meaning.
There are lots of things in life that we do not fully understand, sometimes not knowing is as important as the things you know. On a personal level to live by faith is to trust in the ability of God, to be confident of the future even when it looks uncertain, sure of your purpose in moments when it appears you are lost, determined in areas you feel powerless and certain when all around you is uncertain.
Reasons for Collaboration.
To look at an area that we were both interested in.
To collaborate and work with someone else, aspects of whose work and output I admired, and also someone coming to the subject matter from a different viewpoint. This would offer more of a debate and also spur each other on. To create a verbal and visual dialogue.
To produce a body of work that was more self-initiated and an investment back into myself away from some of the commissioned projects I have been involved with. Some of these projects have been great to go with (eg Royal Mail Millennium stamp project) but I felt I needed to be working on some things that was for the love of image making and reasoning on paper. A return to a period of more personal related work.
To commit ourselves to a show date, which would force us to produce work whatever the circumstances.
The decision to work over three shows would allow us to explore, reflect and collaborate more effectively.
Gary Powell is an illustrator and teacher.