Yesterday I took a trip to London to meet upo with Ian Mobsby who is kind enough to take time regularly to chat with me in a pioneering mentoring role. I really value this relationship and I found yesterday very helpful. In fact, I felt myself a lot lighter after our conversation as I was able to see things in perspective again.
I guess one of the things that is difficult with all ministry and, I think, pioneer ministry in particular is the whole isolation thing. I work with in this daily which means familiarity breed itself quite quickly. The daily working alone brings feelings of isolation to the forefront. This produces tiredness, and when we are tired it is difficult to be rational or see things for what they are.
Working in isolation (which is not really a choice but more of a necessity) can mean that all of the above cam result is a loss of perspective. Steps are gradual and unnoticeable on a daily basis; but taking time out to look back over a length of time results in things becoming clearer and change being more obvious. As I looked back over the last 22 months I could see how relationships have developed, how locations have changed and how there was no gathering and now there is – even if it is struggling at the moment.
Following my time with Ian I popped into The White Cube to visit Anthony Gormley’s latest installation, Test Sites. In particular I was struck by Breathing Room III and how it related to, and reinforced, my conversation with Ian.
Breathing Room III ‘is made from 15 interconnecting photo-luminescent ‘space frames’, the total volume of which is equal to that of the internal gallery space.
Time and light are the principal materials of the work. Breathing Room III encourages the viewer to enter into and interact with a defined sculptural space, where intense bursts of light interrupt complete darkness, unexpectedly jolting the experience from one of quiet meditation to acute interrogation.’
I took time to wander around and in and out of the sculpture. At first my feelings were of fear and of being uncomfortable. Fear because my worry was of doing something wrong, of breaking something, of walking into something I should not walk into. My confidence quickly increased as I got used to the space and stepping in the gaps along with ducking when I needed to duck. It did not take long for me to start feeling very comfortable in this environment and even enjoy being there. I quickly became acclimatised and my initial thoughts and experiences evaporated as my experience of this new environment grew.
Then came a sudden shock of light and heat. The sudden light from darkness was blinding and quite painful. The heat from the lights was amazing (actually you should pop in for a little while if you can just to experience that intense change alone). The whole experience was quite painful from the initial shock and contrast, but it was an ‘awakening’ experience.
The flash of light exposed Gormley’s work. It showed all that were able to open their eyes where this installation started from and what it was like before the process of time. As the lights dimmed again and the darkness grew it became apparent that a journey had occurred. WE had not remained static even though first impressions may have left us thinking that.
My time with Ian was essentially for me another flash of light. At times it was painful and sometimes I wanted to close my eyes. The flash, however, served a massively useful role in revealing where everything from started from and by that showing that some things have been achieved over 22 months that I have now been here. I am on a journey, it is not complete and never will be … but I am not static, I am on a journey and moving, even id slowly, in a direction.