Beyond Air Guitar: A Rough Guide for Students in Art, Design and the Media

ISBN 9781903689547
238 pages.
Published 11/10/2011

£10.37 - £15.00

Paperback, PDF

What is art? What art should you make? How do you find your ‘calling’? Can art bless or curse those who consume it? What role can your art play in the arts today? How does your art function in the Kingdom of God?. By guiding readers to answer such questions for themselves, this practical workbook gets right into the nitty-gritty of what it means to be an arts or media professional. With contributions by Susan Beresford, Norman Stone, Robert Orchardson, James Cary, Kieran Dodds, Interface Arts Relay Group, Rael Mason, Henningham Family Press and Sparks.

Alastair Gordon is a London- based painter and writer. After eight years with UCCF as a specialist mentor of arts students at universities and colleges in the UK, during which he organized several cross-disciplinary arts events, conferences and exhibitions, he is now managing a new professional mentoring scheme for Christian arts graduates: Morphē.

“Artists do not hold a privileged position in society but they have an enormous influence in our culture …   Those  who are followers of Christ need help engaging with the arts and media …  That’s why this book matters. Clear, careful, practical and biblical, it gives much needed instruction for young artists at college and those already ‘out there’ trying to live and work as artists.  Al Gordon is an artist himself, who knows the struggles and the joys.  More than anything else, his passion to help Christians work, create, and worship to ‘the glory of God’ is dynamic.”

Dr Gavin McGrath, Senior Associate Minister, Dundonald Church, London


“Alastair Gordon is an experienced, warm-hearted and trustworthy guide for all those navigating the complexities and challenges of working professionally in the arts. It is therefore no surprise that
‘Beyond Air Guitar’ sets the bar high for what the arts can and should be in God’s economy. There is plenty here to inspire great ambitions for our service to the Lord, and by implication, to subvert the half-hearted, derivative or kitsch that blights much so-called Christian art. While Alastair’s primary focus professionally and in this book is clearly on those involved in visual/graphic arts, there is much here that will be helpful to all creative professionals. So I hope that it will be read widely and deeply.”

Mark Meynel—Senior Associate Minister, All Souls, Langham Place, London

“Alastair Gordon is not just an armchair philosopher smoking his pipe while thinking deep thoughts about art, but an active, exhibiting painter and fellow suffering struggler with other artists. In this book he doesn’t claim to have all the answers but he certainly has a remarkable, challenging and helpful set of questions. The goal of the book seems to be to help Christian artists be more fully human. This makes me recommend the book to non-Christians as well. We all need to be more human and Gordon’s book will help us do that.”

Ellis Potter—Director of Eastern Europe Renewal (EEC)


ix A Few Words About This Book …


1 Every Artist Asks Questions …

3 1. What is Christian Art?

13 2. What is Art Anyway?

19 3. Is Art a Calling?

29 4. How is Art Worship?

35 5. What Good is Art?

45 6. How Does Art Function in the Kingdom of God?

51 7. What is the Artist’s Task Today?

57 Beyond Air Guitar: An Interval

ARt And the BiBle

61 Introduction

64 8. In the Beginning: The creativity of God

73 9. Arte Factum: Making art in the image of God

83 10. My Idol: Art after the fall

93 11. Making Culture: God’s design for creative culture

101 12. Art and the New Creation: Art in the future and how it affects the present

114 13. A Sight for Sore Eyes: On beauty and redemption

121 The Stories We Tell: An Interval

ARtiSt inteRviewS

123 Introduction

124 14. Norman Stone

130 15. Robert Orchardson

138 16. James Cary

150 17. Kieran Dodds

156 18. Interface Arts Relay Group


168 19. Rael Mason

173 20. Henningham Family Press

179 21. Rachel Nunson

186 22. Sparks

life AfteR ARt ColleGe

195 Introduction

197 23. Making and Managing Opportunities in Visual Art

207 24. Making and Managing Opportunities in the Performing Arts

215 by Sue Beresford

That Oddity of Being Evangelical and Artist: An Interval


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