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Font, 2010

Created for the exhibition ‘Reimagining the Treasures of Hyde Abbey’ in 2010, Font uses glass, light and sound to evoke a sense of ancient and contemporary place, creating connections between the inhabitants of the ancient abbey of Hyde, and the residents from 2010 who lived on the site where it stood.

Font is a glass bowl, 60cm in diameter, with the names of the monks and benefactors of the Abbey enamelled into the glass alongside ghostly signatures of residents from 2010. It sits on a cast concrete plinth and as you pass the sounds of voices singing names, both ancient and modern, are triggered.

David Owen wrote: ‘With Font, a work whose title plays with, and links, baptism and typescript, Hoare explores the theme of locality and memory. The artist draws on the Registers of New Minster and Hyde Abbey which list the names of inhabitants and benefactors of Hyde Abbey, and therefore contain a tangible link to the past both in the names inscribed and the marks made by human hand 900 years ago. The insertion of new names in between earlier entries creates a wonderful visual stimulus for this project. The concept of names Is integral to this work: a written name, a signature and an identity, its relationship to a spoken name, sung at mass; a name identifying one person to another across the years. Hoare ran workshops to collect contemporary Hyde residents’ names both written and sung.’

Font now resides in St Bartholomew’s Church in Hyde, Winchester, UK.

Font, artist Alex Hoare. 2010

Font, on site in Winchester Cathedral

Font, on site in Winchester Cathedral

Font was made to be sited in Winchester Cathedral, it’s shape reflects the Norman, Tournai Font which it sat opposite (across the Nave of the Cathedral) for four months during the Hyde 900 commemorations.

School Workshop

School Workshop

Pupils at St Bedes Primary School participate in a workshop about names and signatures and making them into artworks!

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Ancient Script

Ancient Script

Trying different methods of transferring script onto glass

Playing with signatures and names

Playing with signatures and names

Mocking up samples developing the final piece