Faith, Art & Me: A Solo Exhibition by JYMA

Faith, Art & Me. A solo Exhibition by JYMA. Image of handdrawn church.

Faith, Art & Me

A Solo Exhibition by JYMA

When: Tuesday 21st May – Sunday 2nd June

Where: Carlisle Cathedral

Faith, Art & Me explores local artist JYMA’s creative and spiritual journey over many years and how he believes faith can provide a grand, unifying meaning to the universe.

About the Artist

This exhibition focuses specifically on JYMA’s faith and religious themed artwork, created both at Prism Arts and at home. Although JYMA does not go to church each week, he loyally watches Songs of Praise, and carries a Bible with him everywhere. He has favourite quotes from the Bible, coming up with his own quote of “You’ve a duty to be yourself”, which you will see printed in this exhibition alongside quotes he likes from Dolly Parton and Oscar Wilde. JYMA is keen to share messages through his work and show the journey that his faith has supported him with over the years. Take note of his ‘road map of mental health and wellbeing’ and where religion fits into this.

A screen print with handwritten text that reads, 'Suffer little children, and forbid them not to come unto me. For such is the kingdom of heaven.' The image is a screenprint of Nick Ult's 'The Terror of War' photograph depicting Vietnemese children running from American soliders.
'Suffer little children' A screenprint by JYMA.

JYMA wanted audiences to know,

“I want this exhibition to show the world what and who I am. I am a faithful, ethical person. If someone with autism can create all this, then you can too.”

There are a series of drawings showcased with JYMA’s interpretations of well-known Bible stories, that he draws time and again as reminders of their importance. One of his favourites to draw is the ‘Crucifixion’, as he says it is simple but very meaningful. JYMA said that sometimes God tells him places to draw, not through words, but he just gets a feeling from him. For his Church series, JYMA researched local churches online, drawing his interpretations of each one on large-scale paper. He often doesn’t draw the surroundings as he wants the focus to be on the church and the architecture itself, making it clear in words the name of the church and exactly where it is, so that audiences do not get confused. This church series all began with Carlisle Cathedral, so it’s wonderful for JYMA to see it come full circle and see his work hanging there.

Alongside his art, JYMA writes plays. In 2023 one of his plays was read out by two voice actors on Ocean City Radio’s Theatre of the Mind’s Eye. And later in 2024, his newest play VOODOO CHILD is being taken to the stage and will appear through actors at Theatre by the Lake and Penrith Playhouse.

Since 2012, JYMA has been a visual and performing artist and emerging playwright at Prism Arts in Carlisle. Prism Arts is a neuro-inclusive artist collective that works throughout Cumbria to support and celebrate learning disabled and autistic talent through enriching creative programmes. This exhibition has been co-curated by JYMA and Prism Arts Trustee Jennifer Gilbert of Jennifer Lauren Gallery.

Artist Jonathan "JYMA" Harkins
Artist Jonathan "JYMA" Harkins

We want to thank Cumberland Council for generously providing funding towards this project and thank Carlisle Cathedral for providing space for this exhibition as well as their constant support.

Cumberland Council logo.
Carlisle Cathedral Logo
Prism Arts Logo. White text on orange blob shaped like a lower case a.
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