There has been a lot of talk in the past few entries of folding and unfolding. The layers of Colm Cille’s legacy are definitely being peeled back in the last two commissions and conversations surrounding them.  I’ve been gathering my thoughts on the blog entries.

 

The spiral moved to Newcastle to interpret “The Word” resulting in a poetry sound installation in opposing sites, one a tower on the island of Lindisfarne and the other in St. Aidan’s Crypt in Bamburgh. These same pieces resulted in very different reactions. Shadow Script, the commissioned poetry, which was used in Antiphonal sound installation, told us fragmented stories of pilgrimages, myths, secrets and meditations, leaving us to piece the rest together. Linda had felt that the Crypt installation was more successful as the reverent, peaceful atmosphere allowed the piece to be enjoyed and reflected upon. The space used for these commissions seems like a vital element, to create the atmosphere for contemplation, as I feel was successfully created in Vicissitudes.

 

The third knot of the spiral, “Ethical Knowledge” in Bradwell, where the medievalists played the role of artists at “Interruptions” in St. Peter’s church. I found this interesting as it forced the historians to challenge all their predispositions and embrace the challenge of imagination and the unknown. During the Curator’s Conclave in May this was raised as being a transition from referencing and accuracy to using contemporary at, literature and performance as a new way of understanding the past. The engagement and interactive element of Interruptions seemed to be an informative element of the work, as with the personal stories and connections people brought to the Vicissitudes performance.

 

Kathryn Meade‘s piece on forgotten women today and in medieval times sounded like a very touching piece. As I live in Derry and part of the City of Culture’s aims are to tell the history of the city and its people there have been many events, talks and exhibitions to document and remember women’s history. During the industrial revolution, Derry was the world capital of the shirt making industry. Women flocked to Derry for employment and often were the main breadwinners and often mothers to big families. Women kept the city alive. It is a history that is often untold. Who were the women heroes in St. Colm Cille’s day? Is there a history that could be told or could we fill in the gaps?

Hana Videen’s “stick relics” were interesting as people place so much meaning into objects, particularly in a place like Derry where objects have been used to tell stories of the Troubles, such as in the Free Derry Museum. Ordinary objects are weighed down with history and tell a story.

 

Sacred spaces, forgotten histories and challenging predispositions are all barriers and entrances into the legacy of Colm Cille and the pilgrimage we have joined. I’m looking forward to hearing from the participants on the Raasay residency to hear their ruminations on some of the topics that have arisen.