Blessed are the Peacemakers

Rhonda Fenwick (lead artist), Caroline Coode, Mary Cook-Cosh, Andy Holt, Gina Martin, Claire Rollinson

St Peter's Church Burnham 2nd - 19th August 2014 & St Mary's Church Slough 1st - 10th September 2014

MONA LISA Arts & Media established The Peace Project, Blessed Are The Peacemakers, in September 2013 as part of the WW1 commemorations in August 2014. Drawing inspiration from the Beatitudes, Blessed Are The Peacemakers, we decided on the theme of peace. The First World War was meant to be the war to end all wars, with the ultimate aim being peace. The work created by artists, youth and community groups looks at the effects of war, War Horse, the Suffragettes and the role of women, life in Burnham 100 years ago, ideas about Peace and what that means.

We facilitated art and banner making workshops in Cornerstone, which included people from Churches Together and youth and community groups in Burnham. We are delighted to have a selection of visual art from local, national and international artists included in the exhibitions.

Rhonda Fenwick

My work as an artist is concerned with ideas and concepts in art, socio-political landscapes, science, architecture, psychology, music, philosophy and technology exploring the nature of our 'being' in a contemporary world. Facilitating an 'art' that comes into being through interactive relationships between art objects, art spaces, participants, spectators, and the wider landscape. My work attempts to provoke us to re-examine what we think of as 'Nature', and our relationships to all other phenomena and how we relate to the philosophy of deep ecology. Often my work is quite playful as well as inter-active: sometimes using sophisticated technology; sometimes the most simplest materials. Exploring and experimenting through drawing, painting, assemblages, film, photography, environmental art, combined media installation, movement and text I explore these concepts and ideas. Ultimately the art that interests me most is where processes of daily life can be considered art. Here, the nature and intention of actions made in daily life are thought of as art.

Lindisfarne Poppies
We Will Remember Them
Save our Souls

Caroline Coode

Caroline has 5 sons and 8 grandchildren and works from her home in Newcastle upon Tyne. She is an artist and gardener with a passion for growing organic fruit and vegetables. As a Quaker she regards their Peace testimony as an important influence in how each of us tries to live our life on a daily basis. In a world so much at war, it is difficult to know how to make a difference. Art cannot, alas, provide food, shelter or medical aid. However, it can and does, nurture, heal our souls and feed our spiritual hunger. My two pieces of work in the exhibition, 'In the Beginning' is my response to the awe I feel about creation itself and 'Behold a New Earth' is an expression my joy and faith in the eternal cycle of death and rebirth in this wonderful world.

Behold a New Earth
In the Beginning

Mary Cook-Cosh

Mary Cook-Cosh is an artist based in Brooklyn, NY. The content her work is weighed in exploring aesthetics pertaining to teenagers, teenage life and imaginary landscapes of flora and fauna that creatures and beings often inhabit. Film is inevitably an inspiration and the dialectics of dark drama staged with colourful aesthetics is a tension Mary finds fun to explore. For the World War I Commemorations exhibition in conjunction with Mona Lisa Arts & Media in partnership with St Peter's Church and in collaboration with the Royal British Legion, Mary has created a series of ink and graphite drawings works specially made in honour of young people that lived during the period of World War I. We see young brothers pictured together perhaps before they each set off to war, a propaganda poster picturing young English youth within the circumference of English allies, a "Dazzle Ship", which many young soldiers contributed the fabrication of, in addition to images of a teen getting a routine eye exam or set of children in the midst of a brief moment.

Mary's work has expanded throughout the years from drawing, painting, sculpture to site specific collaborative installations, constantly pushing the boundaries of how art can be seen and where. Mary has received grants for international residencies in Marseille, France, Sierre, Switzerland, Venice, Italy as well as in the Vermont Studio Centre, USA. Her work has also been sought out by MTV and also by AMC's online MadMen community. Mary also accepts commissions.


Andy Holt

Through the challenging circumstances that have presented themselves to Andy over the last two years, he had to make a conscious decision to be a survivor; as Winston Churchill put it, 'If you find yourself going through hell, keep going'. Out of the dreadful trials we face, there seems to come an inner resolve, a deep reflection, a spiritual awakening and an unquenchable desire to be creative. The works he has recently created are an attempt to represent aspects of his personal journey to find peace, aware that it often seems elusive and fragile.

Across the Stream

Gina Martin

Gina has exhibited Nationally at such places as the Benjamin Rhodes Gallery, New Burlington Street, London, the Whitefriars Art Centre, Coventry, the Atrium Gallery, Coopers & Lybrand, London and Olympia, London for the Daily Telegraph, House and Garden Fair. She has completed Public Commissions for clients such as S. Bucks District Council, British Waterways, the Lea Valley Trust, The City of London and Learning Through Landscapes.

She trained at Falmouth School of Art and the Royal College of Art obtaining an MA. and has since undertaken 'Artists in Schools' An accredited course leading to the Advanced Diploma in Professional Studies at the Institute of Education, in collaboration with the London Arts Board. She also is a bronze and silver Arts Award Advisor and has studied Garden Design.

Gina is highly experienced at running workshops for schools and community groups for people of all ages and abilities from pre school to the Over 60's, including special needs and hard to reach young people. She has regularly run INSET workshops for the London Borough of Ealing and the Kingston Music and Arts Trust as well as being Professional Development Course Leader for the Royal Parks of London.

"In my own creative practice I mainly work in wood and natural 'found' objects, both in the studio and in the environment in site-specific pieces. Not only do I use natural materials to create the work but Nature is it's inspiration. It's shapes, forms, textures, colours, sounds and smells...I have been working with the Cornerstone Youth Arts Group to create wire designs for a willow sculptural horse that represents horses that took part in WW1. The Young People have come up with some interesting ideas and we will be transforming them into a life size artwork for the exhibitions."

Bracken in Langley Park, Slough
Wellington Pine Cone in Langley Park, Slough
Willow Reminder

Claire Rollinson

It takes a while to get to know and feel some sort of familiarity and a little ease in a new place. One thing that helps is getting to know the immediate environment. The most direct approach I think is some sort of gardening, putting my hands directly in the earth. Careful observation of the world around me too, plants that happily grow in this environment, wind direction, where the sun rises and sets. The lights and shadows it casts, texture of the soil, the various insects, seeing a grass snake in my small garden, the first I've ever seen. Then I have been painting which brings up the big question, how can I make a response to this place, how can I join in with this astonishing on going creation true to myself. It involves wrestling with myself and with the materials, too wet, too dry, too slippery, too red, too static. At times it is completely out of control, but if instead of abandoning the whole thing, if I can stay in there, accepting the chaos and the uncomfortable unknown and the potential for failure, then some thing surprising and new can emerge, like a butterfly...

Basket of Apples
From the Churchyard
Taplow Court
Emmett's Cottage
There are a lot of people in my family