Sunday, July 30, 2006
Salthouse and Contemporary Art
Norfolk is full of beautiful churches, many of them in tiny villages. Salthouse Church, though an active, functioning church, hosts a number of art exhibits every year, of which the annual Salthouse modern art exhibition is the best known, at least in Norfolk. The theme of the exhibit, which, this year, was curated by Sarah Cannell, was of work by artists crossing the boundaries of art and craft. The curator said of it in the catalogue; 'This year's show...has provided an opportunity for artists and craftspeople to work side by side to create a contemporary art exhibition. Traditional materials or techniques have been fused with new ideas and approaches to create objects and artworks that question the art/craft relationship'. Sadly, there are no pictures yet on the site, but there will be in the next few weeks, so worth bookmarking it to return.
I visited the exhibition last week, but returned to Salthouse yesterday to attend a workshop given by Making Marks. Workshops for the community are a feature of this particular exhibition, and they are of consistently high quality, to judge by the comments of other participants who had attended more than one workshop. This one was no exception; more about the workshop tomorrow (though I did write about the first of them in the blog,a textile workshop with Jan Miller, around about the 10th July)
The gravestones pictured here were incorporated into a piece by Juliet Arnott, described in the catalogue as 'a large woven installation that intertwines with the shroud of trees which enclose the ruins of the medieval chapel'. For me, it was the most atmospheric of the pieces shown this year, having, as it did, a real sympathy for its environment, and a sense of both enclosure and openness. That sounds odd, but really, that is how it felt...as I stood in it, I felt both hidden by the weaving and the trees, and yet very aware of the installation's openness to the sky and the environment around it. I understand that the installation will remain after the closure of the exhibit, and that the willow used in its construction might potentially take root and grow. Wonderful, to make growing, living art from the remains of the past. Truly magical work.