Photographic exhibition

27 04 2014

On a whim, I recently decided I would like to hold a photographic exhibition to showcase some of my photos. This is something I did once before (back in 2008), but back then all I produced were the actual framed pictures. No text, no context, nothing. This time I want to support a charity that is very important to me. How many of you have heard of street pastors? Some of you may have come across them in the city centre, and have thought of them as nothing more than people giving out flip flops. But there’s more to them than that.

Street Pastors is defined as being an inter-denominational Church response to urban problems, engaging with people on the streets to care, listen and dialogue. It was pioneered in London in January 2003 by Rev Les Isaac, Director of the Ascension Trust, and has seen some remarkable results, including drops in crime in areas where teams have been working. There are now some 11000 trained volunteers in around 250 teams around the United Kingdom. Each city/town project is set up by Ascension Trust and run by a local coordinator with support from Ascension Trust and local churches and community groups, in partnership with Police, Council and other statutory agencies.

There are now seventeen cities or towns with Street Pastor initiatives across Scotland, plus teams for festivals like Rockness and also the Commonwealth Games. Within Inverness there are three areas that have teams: city centre, Hilton and Merkinch. I lead a street pastors team once a month in Hilton, where flip flops aren’t required. It’s about being there for people to talk to; to provide a listening ear; to be there for young people who feel themselves to be excluded and marginalised and to be with them wherever they are – be it on the streets, in a pub, or at parties.

The exhibition is currently on display in Great Glen House, Inverness. Opening hours are 9-5, Monday-Friday.

Framed photograph ……………………… £20
6” x 6” card ……….…….. £3.50

Please note that copyright and all intellectual property rights of purchased images remains with me, the photographer. 50% of all sales will go to the Street Pastor initiative in Inverness.

If you would like to buy a framed print or cards, please contact me at

Spirals… to be continued.

7 12 2013

A couple of Christmasses ago, I decided not to do the usual, expected thing and go home for Christmas, but instead stayed in Inverness. I had a few days of intense spiritual creativity, and made and dabbled in different types of creativity. It was wonderful.

One of these dabblings was a foray into the world of acrylics. I set a cheap canvas down on the carpet, and then thought I ought to put some backing paper down behind it. Just in case I make a mess…

My first try was what I consider quite amateurish. I had no idea what I was painting, how I was painting, or indeed what any of the tools and methods were. I painted what I thought was a waterfall (in portrait), but was dissatisfied with the result. Never mind, I have to start somewhere. I plonked it down on the piano to dry and got on with the next canvas. I ha the notion that this, whatever it was, had be along one of the diagonals. I took my time, and spent 5 hours on this canvas. Paint did go everywhere, and I had to scrape drying acrylics off various pieces of furniture, and still have small blobs of paint on my halogen heater. That is what comes of employing a toothbrush and a stiff piece of card! When this was finished, this also went on to the piano to dry.

A friend came round to visit, and spotted these two new pieces of creativity and exclaimed at all the fish. ‘What fish?’ I asked, rather confused. Nothing about the galaxy painting I thought was rather good. No, it was the initial painting I had created that had caught her eye – the one that I didn’t know what it was. She picked it up and turned it 90°, and then pointed out the fish to me. Sure enough there were fish. I was amazed. How many times do we do something that we think is no good but it touches someone’s heart? And how many times do we think something we’ve done is quite good, and give ourselves a pat on the back, and nobody takes any notice?

My galaxy painting for instance isn’t a picture that everyone would recognise immediately as being a galaxy. To some people it’s just a mess of colour. To me it’s a design that I had not seen in my mind’s eye when I began to paint. I was just extremely conscious that I was painting freehand – there were no sketches or lines to hold the paint in. As I painted I was being healed – healed of the ingrained belief that I could only paint within lines, and if I went over these lines, my painting/drawing would be ruined. I had to be very strong in myself to ensure that I didn’t try and paint a broad strong stroke which would then act as some delineation which I would then have to follow. I had to keep reminding myself to only do a few strokes, before sitting back and asking the Holy Spirit which colour to use next, and in what way.

When I look at you I see… spirals

7 12 2013

A common theme of last year were spirals. These came in many different forms, and were described by many different people throughout the year in regard to different things.

In my mind’s eye, one of these images described had lights so twinklingly bright. Another sculpture. A piece of mdf later, and a set of lights from a well known DIY store, I set about designing this sculpture. Each hole which needed drilling through the mdf needed to be a set distance away, and this distance had to allow the light the slotted into the hole, without danger from overheating. Each spiral needed a set number of lights, and this had to be calculated too. How many lights were to be set in the centre of the sculpture?

Drilling the mdf had to be done in such a way that removed/reduced the need for sanding down any sharp edges. If you mark the right side of the board, it is thus marked. But if you drill down from the wrong side to the right you risk jagged edges.

Having drilled circa 200 holes in five spirals, I then painted the mdf with special mdf paint. And had to wait 3 or so days between each coat of paint – ensuring of course that I did not fill up any of the specially drilled holes with paint, nor have any drips. Easier said than done, when the viscosity of the paint is like thick molasses, and the smell is rather potent. Three coats of paint on each side (and don’t forget the edges too), and then out came the glitter spray to add some further sparkle to the sculpture.

Next I had to think how the lights would stay attached to the sculpture, and invested in some thick electrical tape, again with a potent smell), but also with good sticking capabilities. This, over the lighting cabling ensures that if the sculpture is tipped upside down, the lights do not fall out. Kinda important.

This sculpture is currently in the conservatory, being used as a wall light. To me, it can be used as a tool for meditation…

Thought for the day

7 12 2013

Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. —Philippians 2:12-13

We are all commissioned to grow up in Him to the point where we accept and walk in His will in every area of our lives. It is the difference between infancy and maturity.

True maturity comes when God’s will can be worked through your will. This can only happen when your flesh is dead enough, and your will becomes submitted enough and you have been truly resurrected with Christ. Then what you will is not your will, but God’s.

When you are dead to your own will, you can get up at 4:00 in the morning to pray; you can forgive the hurt; and you can have peace in the midst of the storm.

When you have grown into the fullness of the image of Jesus your prayer will be, “Not my will, but thine be done.” God will then answer your prayer and impregnate you with His will for your life.

Lord Jesus, I submit my will to Yours. I pray that
You do whatever You desire in my life.
I am yours, O Lord. Amen.

Taken from charisma mag

It’s a hard call to die to self. To no longer want the acclaim for yourself, but to submit to God in everything. To no longer hide behind the walls of safety, but to be out on the ramparts, watching, waiting. Knowing that your safety is paramount to Him, that in our submission to His will, we are safe. Safe in Him. He is my refuge and my high tower.

Deeper still

17 07 2013

Deeper still

It is the well of God’s presence. This cross section is but a part of a huge well, from which all wells are drawn.

Through our own limitations the well we see is that from story books – unassuming and ordinary. Many bypass it because of its appearance; some will dip a cup into its waters, because they have been invited by others, and go on their way. Even fewer will dive into it, with the equipment already given to them by their Father, and swim in it – their curiosity and their desire to know God compelling them to take action. Seeking God takes us deeper into the well. The underground cavities are filled with numerous jewels – the sediments and rocks are imbued with crystals – all formed in the presence of God.

Diving deeper into the aquifer, below the level where sunlight reaches, riches of God are present that eye has not seen and ear has not heard. A place where sunlight is not needed because the light of God’s glory is enough. It is more than enough, it is abundance, richly and greatly adorned.

The water shimmers with gold dust; jewels sparkle in the crystal clear water, gold nuggets lie in the sand, and on the rocks.

We have all been given the equipment we need to find the treasures hidden in the well. God seeks to permeate our lives so that we may truly live in Him and He in us. The water may look dark and uninviting when looking in from the surface, but those who are hungry for more of God, will find Him, but they have to press in. They have to go deeper.

This well is part of every single of us who has chosen to follow Christ. It is there to renew us every moment of every day. It is there so we can seek more of Him, not just for ourselves but also to share with others, so they too may begin to dive deeper.


16 07 2013


I felt that pressing in to the depths of God I was swimming in the depths of space. That in the intensity of what man would term a black hole I was to keep pressing in – into the intensity.. into the brooding… into the place where all colour and light comes forth. Where it appears dark but is actually colour squished and waiting to explode into a myriad of colours. Those that we see and know, and those that we do not yet see and know.

This was painted over Christmas period 2012.

Tree of Life

20 03 2013

This is the only phrase I can think of for the tree I impressed to make. A sculpture if you will. Made using the prunings of a friend’s cherry tree. Many of these pruned twigs had almost a 90° bend in them, which enabled me to use them as the trunk of the tree, and have it free-standing.

Mk I was initially made from my prunings from the garden. Bits of cherry, almond, flowering redcurrant and blackcurrant. But these latter two also give off a nasty smell when handled, so having made a prototype, I set about making Mk II. First obstacle was convincing my father that the twigs lying on the garage floor weren’t there just because I was too lazy to break them up and put them in the compost bin. I really had been given them, and please stop trampling them.

I made Mk II over a couple of nights (sculptures usually happen in the winter when it’s not nice outside), and bound lots of twine round the stems to give it some semblance of plant stem/trunk. I then played around with some felt, and eventually settled on a leaf design, and then worked out how to attach the felt leaves to the branches.

Next were flowers. I struggled a lot with this. I couldn’t think what type of lowers would suit this type of tree sculpture. A friend gave me a couple of flower brooches and I attached these, but they didn’t look right.

© ECharman

© ECharman

Another friend felt inspired by the sculpture, and said it reminded her of the tree of life. This was at the Furnace, and we symbolised the tree of life, as described in Revelation, spanning the river of the water of life (using the silk waterfall as the river). This comes from Revelation 22:2 – on each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. This was during our time of preparation for taking the creativity to CLAN Gathering, and releasing it. The tree didn’t make it to CLAN, but it did make it to CLAN Women 2012. It was sited in the prayer room, and was festooned with a multitude of tissue flowers which seem so apt, and are still on it.

I’m considering making Mk III as the version which went to CLAN Women came back with some broken branches. I have some twigs left over from another creative project.