Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Arts Mentoring Group blog has moved

Hi Everyone,

The Arts Mentoring Group blog has now moved onto a Word Press site to give us a little more flexibility for design and media. You can find us at http://thegroup.artsmentoring.co/

I hope you'll continue to follow us on our journey. Coming Soon, a review of Terrence Malick's film, The TREE of LIFE'  and The Group's monthly letter.

Peace and Love,


Monday, July 18, 2011

The DMZ Project - Korea with art by Mark Philip Venema

Hi Everyone,

Here's a very interesting project from Mark Philip Venema, a friend of mine from Twitterland. The DMZ Project is located in Korea and Mark's work is entitled 'Entrenched Thought'.

If you can support Mark, please go to the Indiegogo website by clicking on the title of this blog entry. It would be great if you could help a fellow artist.

Thanks for your time and attention dear readers!

Peace and Love,


Friday, July 15, 2011

About The Cultural Way of Being

The Cultural Way of Being - details & Quotes

“If we believe ourselves to be artists for the public
domain, then we need to understand what this means,
not only for what we do, but for who we are. We are
not accountants, engineers, plumbers or electricians,
builders or demolition experts—although good art
may entail a sense of building and demolition!”

From the editor
The Cultural Way of Being uncovers the artist’s path toward re-discovering their art’s power to influence and inform culture. Geoff leads the journey away from a narrow, prescriptive platform of institutionalism towards an expansive, authentic and personal art spearheaded by The Spirit; the artist emerges from the Wilderness with a new credibility and a renewed voice.
Join the conversation at PostmodernLandscape.com

The book is available as a paperback, PDF or Amazon Kindle version. We'll soon be adding this title to the Apple iBook Store. Check out the Upptacka Shop for different currency prices, including UK Sterling, US Dollar, Japanese Yen and the Euro. 


Monday, July 11, 2011

The Cultural Way of Being has been published by Upptacka Press

The Cultural Way of Being is the second book in the series 'Spiritual Direction in a Postmodern Landscape'. It focuses on helping the artist take their work from being personally expressive to culturally transformative. The book is currently available in Paperback and PDF format.

It's the author's belief that our work is not meant as a private conversation, but is to create a conversation in the public domain which changes our perception of the problems we face in this current reality. The book shuns the notion of art as sensationalist or ideological and calls for an art of humanity, resurrecting spirituality in our day as the foil to rampant materialism. 

To join the conversation, please join us at:

Peace and Love,


Thursday, July 07, 2011

A crisis of faith

In May 1944 Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote these words,

All Christian thinking, speaking and organising must be born anew out of this prayer and action...We are not out of the melting-pot and any attempt to help the church prematurely to a new expansion of its organisation will merely delay its conversion and purification...Till then, the Christian cause will be a silent and hidden affair, but there will be those who pray and do right and wait for God’s own time. May you be one of them...
‘Letters and Papers from Prison’. Edited by Eberhard Bethge, Published by SCM Press, 1986. p300.

The Church’s complicity in the Nazi horror show was something which Bonhoeffer could not be accused of being a partner in. He knew that any future the Church had must start with its own conversion and purification. Whilst Bonhoeffer practised resistance with his ‘non-co-operation with evil’, the Church collaborated.


Peace and Love,


Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Group's Monthly Letter - June 2011

Mentoring Support for those involved in word,
 image or performance art

Dear Arts Mentoring Group,
It has been an eventful month, with meetings, a birthday, a trip to Neustadt in Germany, being asked to participate in the Bristol Literature Festival and the ‘Narrative as Healing’ project with myself and a bunch of GP’s, gaining momentum.

It is important to travel, to push the boundaries, but it is also good to come home. It is good to connect with others, but it is also good to find yourself. It is good to be emptied, but it is also good to be filled.

We are told that the Body Spiritual is there to help us connect and strengthen one another, because we cannot live alone, we cannot ‘find’ ourselves in isolation; we cannot be artists disconnected from those we share a similar calling with.

Song 16 talks about our ‘lot being secure’, about the ‘boundaries falling in pleasant places’ and as I returned from Neustadt where I met Johannes and Birgit, I was amazed at how we can connect with simple things like a Tweet! Simple maybe, but I think for all of us it was a step of faith. Here is a strange boy from England stepping off an aircraft near Frankfurt and being collected by two very lovely people, who had a very interesting drive to pick me up.

Their journey involved a Sat Nav system that took them within hand-shaking distance of the Airport, only to find that the road in front of them was closed, literally! Johannes told me of his Batman-like utility belt which had a cunning device on it that undid the bolts on the bollards secured on the road - allowing them to continue their journey. He told me how weird it was to pass derelict buildings along the old deserted military airfield. How the Sat Nav system ‘ re-calibrated’ the route only for them to find themselves outside the Arrivals Terminal and  greet me!

I thought this was a wonderful metaphor as we depart on faithful, grand adventures only to find that when we are so close to our destination, the road is blocked. What do we do? Do we stop the work the Spirit has led us to, or do we look for that utility belt and remove the road block, to eventually move on and find that our guidance is being re-calibrated!

As artists we can sometimes stumble when the world seems against us and we don’t get the breakthrough we need. We somehow think God is being a little mischievous, a little double-minded, calling us to things that we just cannot complete on our own. And hey, we've hit the nail on the head, because we are not called to work alone, we are called to connect with others in this most pleasant of places. If Johannes and Birgit had stopped and returned home, that would have left me with an interesting stay at the Airport until my flight back to sunny Stansted, but because they persevered we connected.

I came back home feeling renewed, because on meeting each other we knew God was at work. We will persevere until the potential of our meeting is realised and we start working together. We will begin to make a difference; to our relationship, to our art-making and to European culture. Big vision, lots of Airmiles!

The spiritual terrain has changed and continues to do so as we connect, strengthening one another and going the extra mile to complete the journey.

Peace and Love to you all,


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sinnvoll: An Artwork by Udo Mathee

Hi Mentoring Group,

Please check out this lovely article at the ArtWay.eu website by our friend Johannes Manz of the Aspekt Galerie, entitled 'A New Form of Speech', the English version/translation of  'Eine neue Form der Sprache' - a visual meditation on 'Sinnvoll', a work by Udo Mathee.

Click on the link in the TITLE to take you there!

Peace and Love,