Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Holy Detritus exhibition 2013

Ghost - poem by Mary Chuck, suspended hat by Victoria Relph
Holy Detritus 
a creative adventure into 
St Oswald's Church

Located in St Oswald’s Church, Grasmere, this exhibition proved to be unexpectedly successful and highly popular. It began as a developmental collaboration between 10 acclaimed, contemporary poets, selected by the Wordsworth Trust, and 20 artists and designer makers from Lakes Collective. It was on display from Sat Sept 27th – Tues Oct 8th 2013. 

Selection of individual poem books by Elizabeth Shorrock

Inspired by the fascinating architecture and history of St Oswald's Church, the poets created poems which were then passed to the artists and designer makers to interpret in any way they chose. Some of us were drawn to the wide-ranging content in the poems, while others focused on just one image or line or the rhythm of a poem. The experience of considering the church as a whole in such close detail gave us all the opportunity to expand our impressions of it and express those in ways that connected poetry, art and place for people who viewed it. Most of the art work was for sale, and nearly all of it sold during the exhibition. The copyright of the poetry remained with the poets so that the poems can be used in future collections. 

St Oswalds Church was the perfect venue for this event, as the poetry and art work looked very 'at home' there. It also enhanced the experience of visiting the church, as people were encouraged to adventure into it in greater depth and from different perspectives. 

3 poem tryptych by Suki Kyme

The Lepers' Door
(St Oswald's Church, Grasmere)

We come down from the crags, the wastes, our hovel colonies
just out of sight – the stumps of our limbs, the flesh betrayed.
We're here at the side door waiting for the nave to empty.

We dream of the old life and hunger for the one hereafter.
We have no currency today – untouchable, unclean.
O cleanse us father, fill the holes in our bodies with the host.

From the shelf inside the door, we'll pick up whatever the world
offers – food, old clothes, messages from family – then slip away,
wraiths, imagine the sacrament's tang on our tongues like blood

reminding our souls of our selves. Each daybreak our poverty
offers itself to the light, the light that renews all.  We look
to the hills and they keep us here. Our prayers go unheard:

may the wind, burling down, pass through us,
may the sun leave no shadow behind us;

   The Lepers' Door - poem by Mike Barlow 
'Ring For a Leper' in silver and stone by Amanda Hunter
may the wafers of clouds be our bodies made spirit.
                                                                                  Mike Barlow 2013

Poets: Polly Atkin, Mike Barlow, Judy Brown, Elizabeth Burns, Mary Chuck, Sarah Hymas, Carola Luther, Kim Moore, Jane Routh, and Mark Ward.

Artists / Designer Makers:    
Clare Humphry - ceramicist
Amanda Hunter - silversmith 
Amanda Watson - painter
Barbara Humphry - painter
Elizabeth Shorrock - book binding
Gordon Baddeley - sculptor in wood
Helen Golding-Miller - bookbinder and conservator
Jane Crowe - felt maker
Jo Aspray - painter
Joy Grindrod - painter
Keith Shorrock - woodworker 
Lola O'Reilly - artist
Melissa Harwood - painter
Stephen Rae - artist
Sue Brophy - beaded jewellery
Sue David - printmaker
Suki Kyme - painter
Victoria Relph - milliner

Wordsworth Trust