Credit- Image by Sophie Lyon

An art exhibition at a church on Chapel Street is displaying religious paintings to spread messages of God’s inclusivity in the lead-up to Christmas.

Fine artist and theologian Elizabeth Gray-King, 69, a United States-born creative who has lived in the UK for around 47 years is currently showing 13 intriguing and affirming canvases at Sacred Trinity Church, which explore the equality and inclusivity of God’s love.

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

She said: “[The paintings] were gathered together in this exhibition in order to make a pretty bold statement about who God is.

Image by Sophie Lyon
Elizabeth Gray-King (Image: Sophie Lyon)

“There are no barriers whatsoever to being in a relationship with God through any kind of faith.”

In her ‘Nativity’ exhibition, Jesus is pictured on a cross in a familiar resurrected state.

However, Ms. Gray-King’s courageous final vision for the piece took a number of years to fully materialise.

Ms. Gray-King said: “He’s no dead Jesus, and he’s definitely not white.

“And he’s staring at everybody who looks at him to say, ‘You have a problem with this? I know who I am’.”

She was particularly delighted to show her six-painting series ‘Points’ which portrays the value of inclusivity, no matter someone’s background, to form an “interesting broken-up spectrum”.

She added: “We talk about people being points on a spectrum, often of educational ability, or cultural background and gender.

“And what the whole series says is, ‘You know what? We all fit!’ Completeness is what God wants that everyone is included and involved, in whatever message of love God has to say.”

Image by Sophie Lyon
‘I Don’t Know Yet’ by Elizabeth Gray-King (Image: Sophie Lyon)

The issue of religious groups coercing others into making a choice on what faith they should follow led to Ms. Gray-King’s inspiration to create the piece named ‘I Don’t Know Yet’, which focuses on the theme of not rushing to make big decisions in life.

People’s struggles with making such decisions as well as gender non-conformity are at the heart of why she believes art is important to society:

“To have art showing different ways of seeing what other people believe as already true, is often far more powerful than words that we can use to argue with each other.”

Elizabeth Gray-King will continue to spread positive religious messages at future exhibitions, as she plans to show her poignant works at Liverpool, Coventry, Cardiff and London.

The art exhibition will be open throughout December at Sacred Trinity Church on Chapel Street, Salford until Christmas, between 12pm-2pm Monday to Friday plus Wednesdays between 4pm-6pm in addition to their normal opening times on Sundays.

Images credit: Sophie Lyon

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