Project – Vestiges of Spirituality, 2012-13

My interest in collaboration and place-based subjects led to a commission working with three artists/composers to create work as part of a series of site-specific installations in churches (Annabel McCourt, David Lancaster, David Power)

From the project: Vestiges of spirituality is a multimedia installation designed to be displayed in churches and is conceived so that it ‘works with’ the churches as opposed to just happening to be in them. One might say that the church itself is the fifth artist in the installation. Its starting point for doing this is that churches tend to contain large and beautiful open spaces that are designed for contemplation. They also contain small, separate spaces of great interest. All the artwork is designed to work with these features that are shared by most churches, whilst also working in gallery spaces.

The churches were in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire, and were all historic buildings, meaning that any hard-fixing is difficult to achieve. The initial works I made were a series of small paintings entitled H/ours, mounted in such a way they could be free-standing. These were images of the sky above coastal Lincolnshire, and were later put together with a meditative piece, Heavier than Heaven; a reference to books of devotion, Heavier than Heaven is a biography or Kurt Cobain through which I have blanked out every page with lines of ink. The book is contained in an antique wooden box, lined with lead in such a way as coffins of royalty and important people throughout history have been ‘laid to rest’.

Heavier than Heaven went on to be long-listed for the Aesthetica Art Prize, 2015.

I also developed Eulogy, a participatory project which invited the audience to contribute a happy memory of a loved-one; these were transcribed onto small scrolls, bound and wrapped in references to religious relics, and then collected into ‘reliquaries’ in the shape of large green bottles created using recycled glass. The contributions have been put together as slideshows for the audience to contemplate.