Sharing faith through art

Lockdown has been quite a journey for Hayley. Here she reveals to us how a recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and a break from the busyness of her ‘normal life’ as a teacher, has inspired her to share her faith with others through art…

Just before lockdown, in February, I was so blessed to be able to go on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with my cousin and a wonderful group of people I went on to befriend.

It nearly didn't happen, but it has turned out to be a hugely inspiring experience in my faith and creative journey.

As a teacher and an artist, the effects of lockdown have been fairly profound. Not being at school is unheard of, and even though we've been pretty busy, it's still a very different and quieter pace of life. 

My husband is at work full time and our children have grown up, so I'm on my own a lot.

While in Israel and Palestine I wanted to try and remember as much as I could and sketched continuously. I always intended to work my favourite sketches into paintings, but thought it would take me a lot longer to manage it.

On the day the schools closed I made two decisions: That I would paint whenever I had a chance and my focus would be entirely on my Holy Land pilgrimage experience. And that I would read nothing but the Bible, because suddenly I had walked in these places and I wanted to know my Bible much better, starting from the beginning and making notes. 

These two decisions have made lockdown something of a spiritual journey. I am so glad I took that direction from the off.

I've painted a domestic courtyard in Jerusalem, the mountains where the Dead Sea scrolls were found, a woman spinning wool using traditional methods in Nazareth village and a panoramic of Jerusalem with the Dome of the Rock as a focus.

My paintings have become my way of sharing my faith and starting conversations of faith with others.

I’ve felt very connected to my church family of St John the Baptist in Hugglescote during this time, as we are interacting lots online.

I love how seeing my work has inspired people to think about their own feelings, about the Bible and their faith.

Through my art and my openness, I hope that I am spreading God’s love and peace to others.

First published on: 10th June 2020
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