Monday, 16 January 2012

Annie - Amazing.

'I have been fascinated with the notion of change and impermanence since I was a young girl' - Annie Lennox, as quoted in the excellent The House of Annie Lennox exhibition at the V&A which I saw today. It was memorable for all the reasons the artist herself is enduring and attractive - creative, honest, a sense that having a platform of fame gives you the chance to use it for good - in recent years she has focussed attention on the plight of HIV positive women and children in sub Saharan Africa through her SING campaign. 
The exhibition takes up one room in the V&A in the centre of which a small (one roomed) house features a desk strewn with artefacts of her creative life - bits if paper on which are scrawled priceless first drafts of songs, all impeccably notated in a way you would expect from a classically trained musician (she left the Royal Academy of music a just weeks before her final exams.) Around the walls of the outer room are projected the moving images of a suburban town, such as you would see from the windows of a car or train. She perhaps shows her age (57 and beautiful still) by commenting that on such a journey her creativity is fostered as she becomes introspective and lets her mind wander across the changing landscape. All I noticed on my train journey up was the plethora of people missing the landscape whilst being plugged into their iPhones, iPods and Kindles. Whilst my creativity was being nurtured looking at her wonderful costumes, photogenic portraits and music videos displayed large on a screen, I had some random thoughts about faith too. They were firstly negative: with such talented and humanitarian ambassadors for change in the world, why do we need the church? (whilst partly sympathetic to faith generally, Lennox doesn't claim to be a Christian.) And if a highly creative person stumbled into a typical Anglican church service, what would they make of it? 
But then I thought about God being above all our limitations...if He wants to use someone like Lennox to bring about good in the world, who am I to quibble if she doesn't tick the Christian box? And then her song 'Oh God' is so like one of the Psalms...

'Oh God,

Where are you now?
And what you gonna do
About the mess I've made
If there was ever a soul to save
It must be me
It must be me'

For me she reflects a God who is ultimately Creator. I hope I also have the grace and vision to reflect Him in the way I see His world, in my day to day ministry and especially every time I lead worship.
For a little bathe in gorgeousness...follow the link below...


  1. What about her version of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"?

  2. I like it!
    The whole album's great, especially the art work. Thanks for reminding it me of it.