Tag Archives: Naomi Bilingsley

Congratulations to Naomi!

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Naomi Billingsley, who writes for Agnellus Mirror sometimes as NAIB, has just had her book published. We haven’t yet had time to read it properly but thought we’d tell you about it at once, in case it sells out before you get chance to buy it.

Our friendly Jehovah’s Witnesses often point out to me what they see as ‘design’ in Creation. My reply has always been to say, yes, but designer is just too inadequate a word. It conjures up a drawing board and ruler  and compasses, whereas Blake, according to Naomi, sees God as an artist, a being bursting with loving imagination.

WT.

Here follows the review on the publisher’s website:

William Blake (1757-1827) is considered one of the most singular and brilliant talents that England has ever produced. Celebrated now for the originality of his thinking, painting and verse, he shocked contemporaries by rejecting all forms of organized worship even while adhering to the truth of the Bible.

But how did he come to equate Christianity with art? How did he use images and paint to express those radical and prophetic ideas about religion which he came in time to believe? And why did he conceive of Christ himself as an artist: in fact, as the artist, par excellence?

These are among the questions which Naomi Billingsley explores in her subtle and wide-ranging new study in art, religion and the history of ideas. Suggesting that Blake expresses through his representations of Jesus a truly distinctive theology of art, and offering detailed readings of Blake’s paintings and biblical commentary, she argues that her subject thought of Christ as an artist-archetype. Blake’s is thus a distinctively ‘Romantic’ vision of art in which both the artist and his saviour fundamentally change the way that the world is perceived.

From King’s College London, where Naomi completed her MA:

Naomi Billingsley is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the John Rylands Research Institute at the University of Manchester. Her research is at the intersection of the histories of Christianity and art in Britain, especially in the Romantic period. Her current project ‘The Formation and Reception of the Macklin Bible’ examines an important illustrated Bible, published between 1791 and 1800.

Naomi completed her PhD at the University of Manchester (2012-2015) on the figure of Christ in William Blake’s pictorial works. She was then Bishop Otter Scholar for Theology and the Arts in the Diocese of Chichester, and taught Art History at Birkbeck, University of London.

Naomi is a graduate of the MA in Christianity and the Arts (2011) and holds a BA in Theology and Religious Studies from the University of Cambridge (Magdalene, 2010). 

The Visionary Art of William Blake: Christianity, Romanticism and the Pictorial Imagination
Naomi Billingsley

I.B. Tauris Publishers, 2018.

 

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Shadows of the Wanderer – Discussion Group, 15 October

Dear Friends,’
At a time when refugees and migrants are often before our eyes on the news, here is an opportunity to reflect on their experiences of rejection, solidarity, exploitation and welcome through the powerful art of Ana Maria Pacheco.

Bishop Otter Scholar

Saturday 15 October 2016, 11am – 12.30pm, Chichester Cathedral and the Bishop’s Palace

By popular demand, I am running a discussion group on the installation of Ana Maria Pacheco’s ‘Shadows of the Wanderer’ and ‘Head of John the Baptist’ in Chichester Cathedral.

The format will be similar to the discussion sessions about the Cathedral’s permanent art held earlier in the year: we will spend some time looking at the installation in situ, then adjourn for a discussion in the Bishop’s Palace.

Participants are encouraged to read Book II of the Aeneid, which inspired Pacheco’s ‘Shadows of the Wanderer’ before the session, though this is entirely optional. The Aeneid is available in numerous translations in hard copy and online.

The event is free, but places are limited. Please email naomi[dot]billingsley[at]chichester[dot]anglican[dot]org to book.

Further details about the installation and other associated events can be found on the Cathedral website.

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Interruption: Calling artists in Sussex

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If you are an artist in any discipline working in Sussex: read on! Naomi Billingsley, the Bishop Otter Scholar, has published this appeal.

Call for entries. 

Calling artists, academics, musicians, thespians in Sussex interested in working with parishes and groups in the Diocese of Chichester!

I am launching a new directory of Sussex-based specialists in faith and the arts for the Diocesan website.

Based on a similar model to the Diocese of Chester’s Arts & Faith Network, the directory will list details of specialists interested in providing workshops, talks and other activities in faith and the arts for groups in the Diocese of Chichester.

Please submit your details for consideration for inclusion in the directory via this survey and do share with others who may be interested in being included in the directory.

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