Our creative arts include calligraphy, ikon painting, pottery and gardening.
Ealing Abbey Arts hub hosts a tradition
of crafts and craftsmanship. All of these, included among the creative arts, are promoted in the Holy Rule. St Benedict hopes that monastics will praise and worship God through a proper ordering of life and interests. Practical skills and an appreciation of the beauty of creation are elements in this ordering. After 1500 years of Benedictine monasticism a particular, and perhaps refined, style of humanity and openness to God, self, others and creation is found in the devotion of monastics to Benedictine crafts. In this way an attitude towards creativity and beauty has developed within the monastery enclosure that is constitutive of Benedictine culture and life.
Ealing Abbey Arts hub – a tradition in history
At Canterbury St Dunstan (908-988) established schools and built and restored churches, offered patronage to visiting scholars from Europe, and both promoted and practised the crafts that he had learned both in his youth and in his later years (including organ-building and bell-making) and he corrected the books in the cathedral library.
Ealing Abbey Arts hub – a living tradition today
Many Benedictines today are proficient in works of culture (in the true meaning of the word) such as music, calligraphy, vestment making, bookbinding, design, architecture, beekeeping, librarianship, ikons, pottery, preparing good lessons for the classroom, cooking, bread making, beer and wine making, music composition, gardening, preaching or study.
Ealing Abbey Arts hub – a theology of the Arts for today
Art has the distinct characteristic of being a point of communion with God and among peoples. The incarnation of Jesus gives us access to the divine, enabling us to be interested in life, divine and human, that can be expressed in the beauty and materiality of art. A monk who would spend time creating and collecting art, thus spending money that could be used for the poor, and who seeks to do other inspiring things for the Kingdom of God is recognizing Christ in the medium of art that opens the human heart to beauty and truth.
ARTS are commonly divided into two groups;
Creative or plastic (Benedictine crafts), which produce an objective result such as pottery, iconography, calligraphy, painting, composition, bookbinding. These skills have long formed part of the monastic tradition and we value them at Ealing Abbey. Fr Dunstan Watkins (+2012) paid great emphasis to this aspect of our tradition
Performing,|which have an ephemeral result as in Ealing Abbey Music, singing, instrumental, drama, ritual. These too form part of the historic monastic tradition and so are part of our community life at Ealing Abbey.
Fr Abbot contributes in chant and singing.
Dom Peter Burns work with pottery and iconography and contributes in chant and singing.
Dom Thomas Stapleford contributes in chant and singing.
Dom Alexander Bevan works in the area of sung performance and organ.
Dom Ambrose McCambridge contributes in chant and organ.
We hope to develop the monastic arts and crafts of the monks at Ealing Abbey.
© Ealing Abbey, copyright 29 August 2016