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. The installation is in five parts.
1. Annabel McCourt’s Contribution – film in the bell tower
This part of the installation is a direct response to the fact and folklore of the ‘lost villages of the sea’. Villages have been (and will continue to be) lost to coastal erosion, but by ‘submerging’ the ringing chamber, I reinforces the folklore of the bells still being heard to ring out under water. It is also intended to question the role and fragility of the church in modern-day society.
The back-projection intentionally heightens this sense by merging the architectural motifs, namely the ropes, with the aquatic imagery. Poignancy is added (with grateful thanks) by the Bellringers ringing-in the exhibition, but then by leaving their tower to the sea.
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 very different to each other, the use of reverberation to suggest the echo-y enclosed spaces of churches is common to all the tracks.
3. David Lancaster’s contribution – music
As a composer I am preoccupied with concerns of time and space, this music uses both. Sounds are drawn from an earlier choral piece I composed (called ‘Fallen’) but I have cut this up into small fragments, now distributed from five directions (representing the five wounds made on Christ’s body?).
4. Linda Ingham’s contribution – artworks in various parts of the church
For this installation, I am developing a body of work entitled H/ours. Painted impressions of the sky have been created in recognition of a shared ‘heaven’, although the imagery originates from my own coastal environment. The full series of work will eventually include portable altarpieces, book-works and objects through which to acknowledge personal and universal memories and histories.