Chris Sutcliff

Artist Man I am
8th Oct 2009

Giving Yourself Away.

Giving Yourself Away.

Acrylic, Wood Adhesive, Various Printed Ephemera including Bible Pages on canvas

40 x 30 inches


by Chris
Posted in Paint

7 Responses to
“Giving Yourself Away.”

  1. Röb says:

    I think I just lost the game while appreciating this artwork.

  2. TheSilkyOne says:

    Ephemera… good word.

  3. Tif says:

    When i finally get an album released i’m going to be intouch to see if your willing to sell this for the cover.

  4. Sarah says:

    Im currently studying AS RS at the moment and I came across your website. I have been researching how religion is portrayed within art and I was really interested in your work, particularly that which involves Bible sheets.

    I woundered if you included these Bible sheets purely because they looked interesting or if you were trying to make a point about religion?

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated

    Many Thanks, Sarah .

  5. Chris says:

    Hi Sarah,

    Thank you for your message.

    I am really chuffed that you think my opinion(s) may be valuable to your research so I will happily help all I can.

    In case you haven’t already seen it, go to the blog section on my site and find the entry entitled “Pope Becomes Art Critic” from July 2009. The blog covers most of my thoughts on this subject but please also click on the Comments box at the bottom of that entry. A chap called ‘American Yak’ has a bit of a polite pop at me and so I answer him back and clarify my position further. I think that what I wrote there will probably be all you need for your work but I will add some more comments here as well.

    I am not a religious person and never have been, but I am as interested as the next person in the answer behind the gret mysteries, including whether or not there is a God. I rarely bring this into my Art though, not purposefully anyway, I believe that everyone’s road to the discovery of the divine is their own and is rarely helped by others who proclaim their’s to be the ONLY way. With that in mind I try not to act clever with things that I know other people attach a lot of importance to, particularly their faith. However, I am a mischievous soul and like to challenge people’s minds, so occasionally I do provoke the order of things albeit with my tongue firmly in my cheek.

    History shows the relationship between Art and Religion is one of necessity, not merely for solidifying the written imagery in pictoral form (The Sistine chapel etc.), but also because the act of creation (Music, Poetry, Painting etc.) brings you a lot closer to Godliness than cleanliness ever will. So it may sound a bit poncey, but I see no gap at all between Art and God. Sometimes though I see large and terrifying gaps between Religion and God. People do some funny things in the name of a benevolent deity of Love and Peace. And by ‘funny’ I mean absolutely shitty. See all Human history since the dawn of religion for endless examples. Despite The Bible being the most widely sold book in the WORLD, why does it appear that no one has read it?

    I use a lot of different collaged materials in the background of some of my canvasses and this is merely the act of selecting interesting or relevant paper-based matter in which to paint over. I like to argue that it is no more loaded with meaning than that. I enjoy it now as much as I did when I was four years old and doing it at Nursery, the technique is unchanged since then. Bible pages have a great layout, the varying sizes of text and numbers and columns and headers and capitals and lower cases, but if I don’t have a bible to tear up then I’ll just grab a newspaper and to me it will mean the same thing. Often when I begin to paint over it, I have no idea if there’ll even be any of it visible by the time I finish.
    I did use them on purpose once though – go to the gallery section of my site and check out ‘Untitled 2’. I did this for a woman I work with and her whole family are Catholic and regular church goers. I explained to her that I wanted to include Bible pages BECAUSE of her religious beliefs and I asked her permission first, she happily agreed. The painting hangs in her living room to this day.

    Here’s my final thought. Anybody with half a brain realises that we all see things differently, attach differing levels of importance to those things and harbour beliefs which some people would label as genius while others would call you crazy. Attempting to satisfy everyone is not only doomed to failure but is also nuts. Sometimes I use Bible pages on purpose because of the attached significance and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes that annoys people and sometimes it doesn’t. As for my own relationship with God, God speaks to me all the time in terms of inspiration, so it was that self same God that told me it would be nice to paint on the Holy Book. If nothing else, it has generated much discussion, and the argument for God lives on.

    I hope that was of some help to you. Thanks again for your question and good luck with your research.

    Please feel free to visit my site whenever you like, you are most welcome.


    Chris Sutcliff.

  6. Sarah says:

    Hi Chris,

    Thankyou so much for all of your comments and feedback- its certainly going to be a great help in terms of my research!

    Youve really inspired me to continue this research and discover more about the connection between religion and art.

    The points that you have raised will hopefully make my project so much more interesting than they would have been without them.

    Keep up the great artwork and Thank you for your comments!


  7. Myrtis Diederichs says:

    Yay. I’m tickled pink you deem my project a highlight. :-DI was so inspired by everyone else as well, and can’t wait to tackle some of those projects myself. The Pinterest Challenge is an AWESOME idea! Thanks!

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