Leavon Bowman’s creative skills and willingness to translate ideas into painting are to be celebrated. The painting invites us to consider the unique experience we bring to ‘the table of invitation’ and what we take away to share with those we encounter through the course of our lives.
God has prepared everything
and invites us to come to the table where there is a place for everyone A place of divine encounters;
A place of new beginnings;
A place of enrichment and empowerment; A place of harmony in our diversity;
A place of acceptance;
A place of sustenance for Kingdom life, Feast and live.
John 6: 22-58
For further reflection:
How does Phyllis Thompson’s rendering of John 6:22-58 assist your thoughts/understanding of the Eucharist?
In what ways does the painting reflect or challenge your practice of Christianity?
Imagine and tell the story of each of the twelve people at the table.
What do you give to and take away from the table of invitation?
Art is an intrinsic part of who I am, the paper and pencil always functioned to engage me throughout school above all else. I have always been drawing from as long as I can recall. I went on to do other things but was still drawn to art – my primary passion. I finally took the leap, immersed myself in the techniques of painting and did my first degree in fine arts at the University of Northampton.
However, I consider myself largely self-taught even though I attended university, and my work is governed by a set of morals and valves derived from my religious upbringing. My work reflects some of my inner most desires and sensitivities.
My obsession with nature began as a child. I was surrounded by nature’s beautiful scenes of the Caribbean that were often very spectacular in their composition and littered with colours, from the very subtle to the extremely vibrant colours which got my childish mind pulsating. That childhood fascination has grown into an artistic obsession for nature’s beauty. I see the sky and the sea as sublime and aesthetically pleasing evoking a sense of spiritual awakening, solitude, nostalgia, fear and reverence to that or he who is greater.
We often overlook nature, this could be due to the political and social structure that govern society. The fact that we are so busy with our day to day activities; we never hardly give time to nature and as a result a lot of nature’s beauty goes unnoticed. In my work I hope to capture a glimpse of nature’s raw, alluring and infinite beauty.
In all my artistic endeavors I aim to capture and give voice to the disenfranchised, marginalised and often invisible people in society.
Quotes about – A Taste of Heaven
A ‘Taste of Heaven’ reminds us that God has a table that is always spread with an open invitation to all of humanity. Millions have accepted the invitation and there is still room at the table for millions more – whosoever will, may come! I like the way in which the artist enables us to be reminded that we are invited to come just as we are and come closer, come further up, come further in and further beside others at the table in celebration of the renewed life in Christ our Saviour.Bishop Dr Donald Bolt, Administrative Bishop. NTCG England and Wales
‘A Taste of Heaven’, is a unique painting capturing the power of communion within community. Shared table relationships flow; they intertwine childhood, maturity, gender, race and culture, celebrating freedom, unity and life in the presence of the risen Christ. Following his resurrection, Jesus ‘was known to them in the breaking of bread’ (Lk 24:35). Today this promise remains. Place this picture somewhere prominent. Be inspired, then share this meal and be transformed.Noel Moules is a teacher, author, and founder of ‘Anvil Trust’: with its twin expressions of ‘Workshop’ training and ‘Piecemeal’ encounters.
A truly splendid unveiling of the artwork ‘A taste of Heaven’ which can be seen as a modern-day depiction of the Leonardo Da’vinci portrayal of Christ at the last supper. The magnificent painting by Leavon Bowman, commissioned by Rev Phyllis Thompson, culminates in an empowering interpretation for me, of being at the table of Christ.Lois Vassell – Willesden NTCG
A painting is a visual portrayal of an artist’s concept that creates a response upon the individual who views it. This is especially true of those renderings of a spiritual nature. In God’s Word are scriptures relating to heaven and the invitation to “come and dine.” Psalm 23:5: Thou preparest a table before me shares a key element—it is the Lord Who prepares the table. Leavon Bowman has used his God-given abilities to paint a table prepared by the Lord, emphasizing what we bring to this table and what we take away to share with those we meet along life’s pathway. The painting will leave a lasting impression. You will want it among your possessions.Dr. Timothy M. Hill, General Overseer – International Church of God
Each of the characters around the table represents the uniqueness of God’s image and likeness – celebrating diversity of colour, culture, old, young and middle aged – making a statement that we are all equal in God’s sight. Looking closer, one can only imagine the various conversations and levels of both verbal and non-verbal communication taking place, yet every character distinctly positioned, in celebration of both individual and yet connectedness of true expression of freedom and liberty. The beautiful imagery of the embracing Hands of Christ Jesus, holding God’s perfect Creation – our eternal hope of Glory. Amen!Rev Virginia Thomas – LTC Facilitator
“I was completely in awe of Leavon’s work. The painting is wonderful.”David Mullis, Park Inn Hotel
In my office you will find an inspiring portrait beautifully created by the skilful hands of Mr. Leavon Bowman. So, fitting is the caption; “A Taste of Heaven”. Pictured are those gathered at a table in His presence. At this table you find all nationalities and walks of life. You find the senior as well as the young child. All are invited. No one is rejected. The rich, the poor, the successful, the outcast all are one in the same. It is only when humanity is all all- encompassing that we together make up the family of God. This portrait is a glimpse into what heaven will be like; 'A Taste of Heaven'.Dr Stephen P. Darnell, COG Field Director Europe, the Middle East, CIS, Russia
Perhaps no scene in Scripture more beautifully displays Jesus’ love for all and His all-inclusive plan of redemption than the table which He shared with His disciples on the night He was betrayed. That table, however, was fraught with prophetic anticipation of a day when Jesus would commune with saints from every kindred, nation, tongue and people. “A Taste of Heaven” beautifully adds to this anticipation and creates within my heart a longing for a Kingdom without borders”.Mark L. Williams, Lead Pastor North Cleveland Church of God