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Open To All: Different Images of Love

31 January – 29 February 2024 10:00am to 4:00pm
Location The Nave
Category Art
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God’s love for each of us - and all of us - is at the centre of a painting exhibition which Coventry Cathedral is hosting throughout February 2024. Fine artist and theologian Elizabeth Gray King will be showing 13 intriguing and affirming canvases in the Chapel of the Servant and the Nave. They explore the equality and inclusivity of God’s love; truly appropriate for LGBT+ History Month.

Coventry Cathedral, which underwent almost total destruction during World War Two, was rebuilt to be old and new! Constructed from traditional and modern materials, beliefs and convictions, it stands as a testament to The Resurrection. Church resurrection is the hope at the heart of Elizabeth’s work. Complex and under-explored feelings have historically prevented many churches from failing their ‘All Are Welcome’ notice-board promises… God’s new-every-morning Love and ‘church-love’ are not yet the same thing everwhwere.

For love of resurrection, Rev. Elizabeth, whose insights arise from being both an artist and a minister, is currently working alongside the Open Table Network [OTN]. OTN is a national charity which works to urge and facilitate a wider, safer, authentic inclusion for LGBT+ people across all UK churches.

Take your time to look at each painting, to feel God’s Love, and to sense a rebuilding of a wider embrace in all future church welcomes.

Biography of the artist:

Elizabeth Gray King is a polymath of artist, project manager and theologian, having done portraits, illustration, commissions and residencies, and selling originals and prints.

Commissioned paintings hang in churches in Oxford and Birmingham, with her latest, Revival, hanging in the chapel of the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. Her illustrations depict complex concepts and ideas through the interaction of people. They appear in online learning hubs, education books, book covers and cards. She has often worked as Artist In Residence at conferences or events, not cartooning, but drawing what she hears, with the finished work appearing in many post-conference books and websites. The latest work was a Legacies of Slavery event around Jamaica and Grand Cayman, where she was able to share the growing work via screen share.

Elizabeth’s overwhelming artistic purpose is to challenge narrow views of God, as well as insular views of societies and peoples. Her link with OTN is to share this voice of challenge where she can.

Elizabeth said:

‘We decided to work together because we share a commitment to inclusivity in the name of God. We have chosen city centre locations because they attract tourists who visit Cathedrals and notable buildings. Such visitor attractions are an ideal place to show via my artwork that inclusivity is possible, imaginable even, and shows up in images depicting God topics. If visitors can literally see people in gatherings with no barriers, it may be possible for them to begin to see that not all Christianity is exclusive to a few, and perhaps start believing the Gospel of wide-ranging love.’

Because it is important to her as a professional artist, she is donating 40% of the sales of any work, original or print, which people have bought because of this exhibition, to OTN. The percentage is what a professional art gallery would claim from sales of her work.


About the Open Table Network (OTN):

OTN is a growing partnership of communities across England & Wales which welcome and affirm people who are: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer or Questioning, Intersex, & Asexual (LGBTQIA) + our families, friends & anyone who wants to belong in an accepting, loving community. The Open Table Network (OTN) began because many churches and their congregations do not easily, kindly or honestly welcome LGBTQIA+ people, therefore, many LGBTQIA+ people have nowhere spiritually to belong. We reach out in welcome to LGBTQIA+ people who need us and who are looking for us. We know that organised religion so often turns away from us. Faith groups can often be cold or hostile towards us, and this can leave us truly isolated; just at the very times when we need affirmation of love, worth and belonging. OTN is run by, and for, LGBTQIA+ people, their friends and families. We welcome people of any faith, colour or background. We welcome people of every gender identity and sexual orientation. We meet, in person and online, hosted by inclusive churches. Our name, ‘Open Table’ is your open invitation to come in, just as you are, and be, in a safe, affirming community.


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