Absolutely Utterly is a project designed tour and exhibit my recent sculpture and paintings to three discussed churches in England. To document that online through a virtual gallery experience. To combine those events with a series of digitally presented creative collaborations. Supported by a series of similar themed children’s workshop activities with local museums.
Local history can be meaningless to most, especially given our preoccupation with the new and present moment. It can be difficult to relate our own existence with those of past communities. It is tempting to imagine therefore that our lives as with theirs are likewise momentary and eventually or even quickly forgotten.
Ancient monuments and old churches are often all that remains as a tangible record of these past communities. England especially is littered with places such as disused churches, derelict buildings and old abandoned places. Their presence all around has an impact on our identity. Many people live in these old buildings. And yet we know little of the lives of their makers and original occupants. They offer little about the day-to-day sufferings, loves and joys of the people that once valued them.
This project will explore these ideas through setting my artwork in amongst these spaces alongside drawings and writing and film work created through collaborations, to creatively reimagining of those individual lives of their original people and communities. We will use the Garden of Paradise theme to frame the project through a prelapsarian motif of innocence and wonder. To take that to relate to the joy and promise, as well as the pain that exists as a factor in each of our lives. To also use that theme to consider the relation between humankind and wilderness. Of how the duality of human nature is to tame yet inevitably yield to wilderness, risk, and death.
We will use this setting to consider and explore the persistence of nature, of how it invariably rewilds human efforts to manage it. And of how these places remain an oasis of an older world, amongst a modernised environ. And in the wider sense, the simultaneous destruction of nature and the environment through human effort.
The project has three parts.
1.To tour my artwork to accessible, disused churches in locations across England.
This will enable a way to present my new work in site-specific settings.
These exhibitions will also be presented as a virtual gallery.
The churches include
- St Peters Church in Cambridge
- St John on the Wall in Bristol
- Mundon St Mary, Essex
The project will include a series of collaboratively produced artwork events held between the project’s team of artists, writers, and academics. Those will be displayed online and in situ alongside a resource of information about this project.
The projects’ themes will be used to inform a series of children’s workshop activities. Through these we will develop a longer-term children focused engagement pack for local museums to use to engage children in the philosophical aspects and local history.
During the creative workshop activities we will enable children and adults to use a traditional pole lathe to construct simple wooden spindle doll shapes which are then painted by each participant