22 March 2022
Two paintings by Nigel Done, Ministry Formation Team Leader at the Diocese of Salisbury, are now part of Sarum College’s permanent collection, thanks to a gift from the 2021 year group of ministry student leavers.
‘It is a Sarum College tradition for those students who leave in preparation for their authorised and ordained ministerial callings to gift the college with something that might benefit future generations of students,’ said Sarum College Principal James Woodward. ‘I was delighted that last year’s leavers decided to purchase two small paintings, both of which have significance and meaning for the nature of our spiritual life and vocation. They are a wonderful addition to our new conference room. Thank you from the community of Sarum College and future generations of students for this precious and unique gift of art.’
‘Leavers 2021 wanted to express our praise to God and gratitude to the College for the gift of our ministerial education,’ said the Revd Mary Terry, who was ordained last year. ‘With the help of tutors and staff that went far beyond the usual bounds of duty, we encountered God in new ways and learnt so much about ourselves, others and theology. Our time was truly transformational. Nigel Done’s pictures capture something of the depth and joy of that learning, whilst giving pleasure to others at Sarum College for many years to come.’
Nigel explains the origin of this work:
On the cusp of the 20th century, Rainer Maria Rilke wrote a collection of love poems to God. The Book of Hours is the result of his intense mystical encounters. Many who read the poems find they put into words the reality of their own experience in life circling around the great love of God. As I have enjoyed reading the translation from German by Anita Burrows and Joanna Macy, my response to each poem has taken on colour and form as I were viewing a finely crafted piece of jewellery. I offer these paintings as a way of staying with the divine encounter until it becomes ‘like a thing ripened until it is real’.
Done says that Sarum College is a particularly fitting setting for his work: ‘These paintings are about ripening the work of God within us, which is exactly what Sarum is about.’
The two works will be on loan next month as they form part of the Ripening the Real exhibition to be held at St Thomas’s Church in Salisbury from 1 to 10 April.
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