Wednesday, 6 March 2013
60 SECOND INTERVIEW: Shuna George
ARTIST Shuna George is originally from North London and moved to Lyme Regis from Leicestershire 18 months ago with her family. She is an active member and curate of Uplyme Church and is currently looking forward to her upcoming exhibition “In Full View” at the Town Mill, as well as organising art activities for the local community. Shuna lives with her husband Philip and their two children, aged 11 and 12.
HOW did you become involved with Uplyme Church?
I joined the staff team a year ago, having studied for my theology degree at Nottingham University. I had visited the church whilst on holiday here and found it a very vibrant, caring faith community.
WHAT does your new role as curate entail?
My curacy is a continuation of my training for ministry in the Church of England, so I get involved with and learn about all aspects of Christian leadership – pastoral care, facilitating learning, praying and worship, helping everyone to grow nearer to God.
HOW did you become interested in art?
I have always made things – the original Blue Peter sticky back plastic girl! Painting has become more central in my life in the last 10 years
WHAT kind of artwork do you create?
I have seemed to settle upon large acrylic paintings as my chosen way of working. I love the freedom of scale and colour, and the forgiving nature of acrylic paint, which allows for much re-creation.
WHAT inspires your work?
Much of my work is inspired by my journey through life with God. Sometimes the starting point is the simplicity of an object, a view, or a word. Other times the beginning is less clear, the work is more expressive and abstract. For me, painting is a way of praying – a creative conversation with my creator. Painting can be very therapeutic, it helped me get through breast cancer in 2010.
TELL us a bit about your exhibition "In Full View"…
It is a joint exhibition of my own paintings and of textiles by Marjorie Lee. It runs at the Town Mill Malthhouse in Lyme Regis from April 4th to 14th. The title has three layers of meaning. Firstly, we believe that all people share a God-given creativity. When we explore and express this, we are somehow connecting to the divine, as well as each other; we are truly living life to the full.
Secondly, we recognise a fullness – an abundance – in the world around us. This is reflected in what we choose as our subjects – be it vast seas and skies, masses of fish or flowers, or the great potential of an enigmatic expression captured in a fleeting glance.
Thirdly, we hope that our work itself is characterised by a certain exuberance – or abundance. The bright colours, the overlaying of thousands of stitches, the scale of the paintings which appear to overspill the edges of the canvas.
TELL us a bit about the "Abundant Art" activities...
Abundant Art was set up by the Reverend Jane Skinner, Lucy Tyte and myself, with the aim of providing an accessible, affordable community space where anyone can come and explore creativity and its link to spirituality.
We are currently running drop-in sessions from 10amto 12noon on Wednesday mornings at the Powerboat Club, Monmouth Beach. All are welcome to come and bring a project to work on or have a go at something new. We hope to continue after Easter and to offer an additional Tuesday evening session from 7pm to 9pm. For more information people can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT do you like about living in the area?
So many things! The coastal views, obviously, the walk along the River LIm, the arts opportunities, the schools, the theatre, the cinema, the chips, the fish, Lal Qilla, the lack of snow, but most of all, the people!
WHAT would you change about or add to the area if you could?
More affordable housing and better employment opportunities.
WHAT are your personal interests?
Running up and down the seafront with some friends in an effort to keep fit and singing with Lyme Voices choir.
WHICH three people would you invite to your dream dinner party, and why?
I think Richard Dawkins, Mary Anning and Jesus would be a good mix – engaging conversation and great wine, no doubt.
WHERE is your ideal holiday destination, and why?
Anywhere warm with panoramic views and an easel. Could be Lyme on a good day I suppose!