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Archway Project, Lincolnshire

Artist's Statement +/-

Archway Project, Arts Trail

Parish churches are England’s glory. They enshrine the history of a people, most of whom have lived far from the capital, court and Parliament. These people – their art, architecture and faith – are seldom recorded or celebrated. The parish church is their public monument “

Simon Jenkins “England’s Thousand Best Churches” The Penguin Press ISBN 0-713-99281-6

I have developed a series of five inter-connected works of glass art to be placed in five rural churches in the Lincolnshire Wolds and Marshlands, including St. Martin’s Church at Waithe, All Saints at Saltfleetby, St. Mary’s at North Cockerington, St. Michael’s at Burwell, and St. George at Goltho. The glass art has been researched and developed through a series of community engagement events sourced at grass roots level with voluntary workers in the rural communities, and includes photographic records, filmed interviews and workshops.

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In addition, I have researched information through correspondence with local archaeologists about archaeological digs in the area, found early examples of farming equipment used to work the fields, and collected information on local flora and fauna.
I have worked closely with Cora Glasser and David Ball of Glassball to develop a data base of information relating to the local community, industry, history and landscape of the area. The selection of images used in each design is based on detailed discussions with interested parties to establish key elements which represent the genius loci . I have also commissioned the Lincolnshire Poet Laureate Joel Stickley, who has created a series of short poems on each of the five churches, and these poems feature in the designs.
In addition to the secular images alluded to above, ecclesiastical iconic images such as small sections of stained glass, green men, wood carvings, and sculptural monuments are woven into the design to create a visual language which roots each particular church within its religious context.
All this information and visual imagery has been distilled into five small stained glass panels, positioned in agreed locations within each of the five Conservation Trust churches.
The panels are fitted into solid oak wooden frames and hung within the window recess using small extendable feet which do not intervene into the fabric of the buildings. Each window can be viewed as a separate artwork, although the series has been designed to be appreciated as one art work sighted in five locations to create an Arts Trail. The designs have been created in such a way as to encourage the viewer to continue their exploration of each church on the Arts Trail to uncover the complete artwork, with small clues in the form of post codes of the remaining churches included in each design.

A more detailed statement including context views is available in PDF format [2.5MB] – Archway Project, Arts Trail