The Commission

A wallhanging for the interior of Willesborough Baptist Church
The Inspiration
Philippians Chapter 2
'Let our attitude to life be that of Christ Jesus.'
The painting by Paul Klee entitled 'Ad Parnassum'

This work was produced during his time at the Bauhaus. His work during this time was more geometric than before, with the number of forms greatly reduced.
I like this picture for its colour, line and texture. It has great depth, it appears to have been made in many layers.
The base of the picture appears like large overlapping pieces of transparent materials going in a vertical direction.
The top layer appears as smaller applied pieces allowing the base to show through, creating a 3D effect. These smaller pieces follow the same direction as the layer beneath, apart from where a particular shape needs emphasising, as with the sun or the arch of the door.
The colour is limited to one half of the colour wheel, from turquoise to orange, including the jade greens and yellows.
The colours are quite tonal, blending well with the neighbouring colour.
When a colour needs to be emphasised Klee uses the opposite on the colour wheel to allow objects to stand out or recede, as in the sun shape.













Ad Parnussum by Paul Klee

Ad Parnussum by Paul Klee

This picture has been a great inspiration to me, teaching me to use shape more sparingly, colour more boldly and set me on a mission to discover fresh ways of displaying depth in pictures.
Working with the inspiration
detail of embroidery

In Philippians Chapter 2 of the new testament, the chapter begins with a series of 'if's'.
'If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ.'
'If any comfort from his love.'
'If any fellowship with the Spirit.'
'If any tenderness or compassion.'
'Then make my joy complete by being like minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.'
Because we say we enjoy these benefits mentioned above, we should express this enjoyment by being 'one in spirit and purpose.' Privilege brings responsibility and responsibility requires self sacrifice.

The hanging consists of a series of squares, similar to a mosaic, but unlike a mosaic or in Ad Parnassum, where the direction of the squares emphasises a shape, these squares go in the same direction. (being one in spirit and purpose.)


Being like minded does not mean being exactly the same. David Watson said,

'The church does not consist of one member but many; this should not destroy unity but enrich it. Each member is different, yet each is indispensable. In this way there should be no discord, providing that members have the same care for one another. The important thing is that each member should trust and recognise the other members, having no time for the exclusive arrogance that says, 'I have no need of you.'

The squares are all different, the colour spectrum is complete, embracing all colours on the colour wheel, (not half as in Ad Parnassum,) illustrating all are welcome and accepted.
The texture and pattern of the fabric varies considerably, illustrating diversity in character and temperament, and the hidden depths of others revealed, as we take time to get to know them.

detail of embroidery


detail of embroidery

'Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should not only look to your own interests, but also to the interest of others.'

Each square looks attractive on it's own, but positioned next to another enhances the qualities they contain, certain colours stand out better, or texture made more evident.



It has been said, 'True greatness in God's eyes, is seen in a life of service, expressed in the life of a loving, humble, gentle, serving spirit.'
'What God wants to see is his love flowing freely to other people, however costly or sacrificial this might be to ourselves. Nothing less than this can bring true life, His life to those around us.'

The colour of the squares around the cross is red. Red is a colour associated with sacrifice. The closer we get to the image we wish to display, the greater the sacrifice.


detail of embroidery


Philippians Ch 2 v 5 -11 ( The Message translation )

'Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of Himself. He had equal status with God but did not think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of status, no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, He set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He did not claim special privileges, instead He lived a selfless, obedient life, and died a selfless obedient death - the worst death at that, a crucifixion.
Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honoured him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth - even those long ago dead and buried, - will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that He is master of all, to the glorious honour of God the Father.'

In John Stott's book 'Basic Christianity,' he says,

'Christ succeeded where we invariably fail. He had complete self mastery. He never retaliated. He never grew resentful or irritable. He had such control over himself that whatever men may think, or say, or do, He would deny Himself and abandon Himself to the will of God, and the welfare of mankind.
'I will not seek my own will,' He said, and, 'I do not seek my own glory.'
As Paul the apostle wrote, 'He did not please Himself.'
The utter disregard of self in the service of God and man is what the bible calls love. The essence of love is self sacrifice. The worst of men is adorned by an occasional flash of such nobility, but the life of Jesus irradiated it with a never fading incandescent glow.
Jesus was sinless because he was selfless. Such selflessness is love. And God is love.'

The example Christ gives seems way beyond our reach, but God is able to equip us for a life of sacrifice and service.

In The Message translation it says,
'Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God, that energy is God's energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give Him most pleasure.'

 Verse 14 in Philippians says,'
'Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault, in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe, as you hold out the word of life.'

The squares are regular in shape, fitting next to one another, supporting one another, (shoulder to shoulder). They are able to display the shape of the cross, or, 'to hold out the word of life.'


Completed Wallhanging


completed hanging

I have found the meaning behind this piece of work a tremendous challenge personally. As I ponder on what God has revealed to me I find myself lacking.

My prayer is,

'That I grow in the love and knowledge of God.'

'That I may grow in the love and knowledge of others,
not measuring the worth of people by who they are,
what they do, or what they have, instead of just for themselves.'

'And that I may grow in the love and knowledge of self.'        



               Lindsay Akers  All Rights Reserved