Vestiges of Spirituality – a multimedia installation
Vestiges of spirituality is a multimedia installation created by a film-maker (Annabel McCourt), two composers (David Power and David Lancaster) and a visual artist (Linda Ingham). It is 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.
It’s 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.
Our Arts Council tour has come to an end! We are all extremely proud of what we have achieved and are very much looking forward to moving ‘Vestiges’ into its next phase of development. At the heart of our Vestiges project was the intention to bring multi-media installation art to a new audience and/or to bring art to the people who have a propensity to become interested but who were not activity engaged in it. It was also our intention to ‘use’ churches to inspire contemplation, due to their architectural merits. What we didn’t fully appreciate at the time, was just how powerful the combination of artist collaboration, multimedia installation, new audience experience and church buildings would prove to be!
All of our previous exhibitions can be viewed on our documentation page. Thank you once again for your support.
20-21 Visual Arts Centre, Scunthorpe
Don’t miss your chance to see the final exhibition in the tour!
We are proud to be part of Culture 24’s Museums at Night and will be launching before Jessica Voorsanger’s ‘Final Frontier’ at 20-21 Visual Arts Centre, Scunthorpe. We will be exhibiting on Thursday 15th May, 4-8pm and continuing Friday 16th 10am-4pm. Jessica’s event is on Saturday 17th, so let’s make it a fabulous long weekend of art at 20-21.
Find out more here: http://www.culture24.org.uk/mw2000?id=EVENT471050
York ‘Pop up’ exhibition announced – Saturday 22nd February 2014:
find out more here:
We were really excited to have been part of Insight 2013 and have just concluded our second exhibition in the tour at Grimsby Minster.
Venue 2 – Grimsby Minster – September 2013
1. Annabel McCourt’s contribution – water installations
My work for Vestiges is a direct response to the fact and folklore of the ‘lost villages of the sea’. Towns and villages have been (and will continue to be) lost to coastal erosion. My interventions in the Minster are two-fold:
Strategically placed ‘water’ starts to penetrate the highest point of the building and pours in directly over the Sacred Ministers’ Chairs, (the main one being reserved for the Bishop).
The second is a back-projection through the Hagioscope, or ‘squint’ to be viewed from the Lady Chapel. The Hagioscope is a relic of the former mediaeval chapel, allegedly affording a view of the High Altar for those forbidden entry to the Chancel. The angle of the viewpoint indicates the Minster changing over time. The altar is no longer directly in the line of sight. It has shifted. Therefore I allude to the intended alignment by including an echo of an altar in my projection.
“Over the centuries the church building has been redesigned, damaged and repaired, rebuilt, reordered and extended to meet the contemporary needs of the community it serves.” Minster Guide.
By ‘flooding’ the most sacred areas of the Minster I intend to question the role and fragility of the church in modern-day society.
Maybe the sea has come to reclaim the Minster’s oldest artefact – the Font podium consisting of fossilised sea urchins dating back some 250 million years!
2. David Power’s contribution – music played in the nave
My contribution comprises 9 pieces of electronic music of varying lengths played on CD. For each track, there is a silent shadow track next to it on the CD and the CD is then played at random during the installation meaning that there can be music separated by short or long silences. Although the tracks are largely different to each other, the use of reverberation to suggest the echo-y but large enclosed spaces of churches is common to all the tracks.
3. David Lancaster’s contribution – music played in the Lady Chapel
My work for Vestiges of Spirituality comprises a recording of some choral music (‘Fallen’, which I composed in 2009) now cut into short fragments and distributed over five CD players. Each entry of the choir is separated by silence and each of the CD recordings is a different duration so the appearance and possible combination of fragments cannot be predicted. The silences – sometimes quite lengthy – are an integral element of the music.
If you would like a more poetic image: many churches on the east coast have now vanished as a result of coastal erosion. Whilst some people claim to hear the church bells at low tide, I like to imagine the sound of their choirs, still singing, floating ashore on the wind.
4. Linda Ingham’s contribution – artworks and book in various parts of the Minster
As part of this group I am developing a body of work which contains several strands that refer to memory, place and the passing of time. H/ours are painted impressions of the sky, created in recognition of a shared ‘heaven’, although the imagery is taken from my own coastal environment. Heavier than Heaven is a modified biography of the musician, Kurt Cobain; 420 pages have been blanked out with ink, taking 40 minutes per page. This activity has been in the manner of a private performance, in mindfulness of emotional pain and the tragic outcomes which sometimes manifest as a result. Eulogy is an interactive project, where the audience are asked to contribute a happy memory of a loved one in the book provided. These will then go on to be hand-printed onto miniature scrolls which will ultimately make up an artwork containing the memories that will go forward into the future.
5. The Church itself as the fifth artist
As the above shows, the installation as a whole is conceived so that the different artists’ work each has a different type of relationship with the church. Lancaster’s music – being ambient – might be said to ‘include’ the church. Ingham’s contribution could be said to be a semi-secular ‘extension’ of what churches were originally built for. McCourt’s installation is much larger and will immediately seize the viewers attention. However, because it works with and includes features in the church, it could be said to ‘grow out’ of the church. Power’s composition will be played on the main PA and will thus be unavoidable when they are playing could therefore be said to ‘intrude’ into the church, but only when actually playing. When they are not playing, they are more wholly absent than any other part of the installation.
Thus the installation – and its relationship to the churches – is complex and multi-faceted but unified by the underlying theme of vestiges of spirituality and kept coherent by the fact that each artist’s work occupies its own time and space within the whole. The overall ‘feel’ of the installation will be early 21st century and will engage both heart and brain.
What a launch night!
St Mary’s Launch – Filmed by Joe Sargieson and edited by Annabel McCourt