Partners: Arts NK
Materials: Wood, fabric, animation
Altered Project; ‘Screen’, St Andrews Heckington, Lincolnshire. UK. A site-specific participatory installation as a part of ‘Altered’, a project exploring Mediaeval churches through contemporary art. Supported by Arts NK.
St. Andrews church would have originally had a Rood screen. Screens were an integral part of the ritual of the church. The screen at St.Andrews would have been large and spectacular . The rood screen was a physical and symbolic barrier, separating the chancel, the domain of the clergy, from the nave where lay people gathered to worship. It was also a means of seeing; often it was solid only to waist height and richly decorated with pictures of saints and angels. Concealment and revelation were part of the mediaeval mass. In some churches, ‘squints’ (holes in the screen) would allow partial views through the screen.
The carvings in the alter of the church are beautiful and unusually fine. I wanted to create a journey for visitors which would enable them to re-look at what may be a familiar building, or for the first. In order to highlight the carvings I decided to hide them. I wanted to make visitors explore, re-look and have the opportunity to contribute and play with the building. A shadow screen was constructed across the nave, which depicted nature and animals, both of which provide a link with our medieval ancestors. An animation was projected onto the screen and onto the stone carved Easter Sepulcure. The piece relied on participation of visitors to interact with the work by creating shadow with their bodies as they walked through the space and by playing with the projected images on an Overhead projector .