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A Woman's Place, 2005-2007

A three year project which developed a concept for a public art installation at the site of an ancient nunnery in Winchester, Hampshire, UK. The project was inspired by the material remains and the hidden stories of the women who had lived there a thousand years ago.

Working in collaboration with archaeologists from Winchester City Museums, artefacts, books and interviews informed a series of artistic explorations in relation to the site. These included painting, film projections, a soundscape of storytelling and whispered poems, and live performance with female performers from five different generations. The project won Arts Council funding, and two ArtPlus awards for excellent in public art concepts. The outcome is a proposal for an interactive installation for the site which has not yet been realised.

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The Remains of the Nunnaminster

The Remains of the Nunnaminster

The only visible remains of what was the Nunnaminster or latterly St Mary’s Abbey sit beside the Guildhall in Winchester, UK. Left from an archaeological dig in the 1980s, they provided the stage for this project.

Visualisation for permanent installation

Visualisation for permanent installation

Drawn by Design Engine Architects. This scheme is intended to bring people down on a ramp into the site, which sits below street level. As you descend the ramp a series of soundscapes and projections relating to different times of the day (when the nuns would have been called to prayer).

Visualation for permanent installation

Visualation for permanent installation

Once down in the site, in the far corner a circular ‘chamber’ is placed to allow people to sit quietly, listen to the story of the Nunnaminster and watch ghostly projects on the large glass screen in front.

Paintings

Paintings

These paintings are made up of layers of imagery, covered over and pared back, an archaeological process. They are inspired by readings from contemporary sources describing the boundaries and my own imaginings of the environment the nuns would have lived in.

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Projections on the Rocks

Projections on the Rocks

Images were projected down into the site for the live performances

Blue Glass Fragment

Blue Glass Fragment

Amongst the archaeological finds I had access to where several fragments of painted blue glass. These had survived a thousand years despite their fragility. This piece of glass is what inspired me to start working with glass. I was intrigued by its translucency, its potential to layer imagery and its possibilities for use as a ghostly projection screen.

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Live Performance

Live Performance

In 2006 there was a live durational performance in the site over a period of two hours. Five female performers aged from 14 to 70, created ghosts of the previous inhabitants through contemporary movement, song and storytelling.

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Digital Prints

Digital Prints

I have created a series of digital prints from the live performance that visualise the site in different ways from its current static form.

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