MAGICAL ART/E, circular tower of an event – part II

31 Mar

The Art

Below you see some of the art displayed at St. Augustine’s tower last weekend. We set up our works in the tower’s different storeys, starting with the entrance hall, which had the best facilities for displaying drawings, paintings etc. I somehow missed to take snapshots of Charlotte Rodgers‘ sculptural works, which were shown on the first floor, where also the talks, music perfomances and meditations took place. (Might do a special about those at another time in connection with Charlotte’s recent publications.) On the second floor was the room for the tower’s clockwork, where Glen Tomney, Amodali and Jezebel Halewood-Leagas and myself arranged our different works (see photos below).

Lastly on the third and top floor Angela Edwards had set up a controversial art-shrine dedicated to Pomba-Gira. Think for a moment of a demonic vulvic altar, all covered in blood, being exposed in the top of a church tower and accessible to a wide audience – not only Christian visitors felt repulsed by the visual aggressiveness, but also esotericists and occultists of various backgrounds had a hard time relating to the work. It was very interesting to see the different reactions from outraged to amused, from stunned to indifferent. My way of response was by lighting candles and icense because that’s what the incense and candles was there for. Amidst the provocation and controversy there was also a way of showing respect.

This was certainly not a ‘professional’ exhibition as you would expect from a normal gallery. The tower was cold, electricity was not working propperly and there were little facilities for hanging up work (hitting nails in the walls was not allowd inside the historical building). Regardless we managed to work around that and improvised: at night we lit candles to illuminate our artworks, which we arranged inside and around the windows and upon the wooden doors of the tower’s clockwork. The light and warmth of the candles created a special and beautiful atmosphere inside this unique location. After three days at the tower none of the pieces felt quite the same. Amidst cobwebs and dust centuries old they had now been charged with the special vibes of the place.

The People and Surroundings

On Saturday it was hailing whilst sun kept on shining, creating a very special mood, which again reminded me of the imagery on the tarot tower card… Below is the view from the tower’s entrance door towards the old gravestones lined up to the left. Directly infront of the tower was a beautiful majestic tree, looking all the more dramatic against the scenery in the sky formed by dark clouds, sunshine and hail. You see also a sandstone relief left to the tower’s entrance, showing three skulls with triple crossed bones, hourglass and dragon wings…

The other photos are from Saturday’s talks and musical performance, perhaps the busiest day and drawing the largest crowd to the tower throughout the entire week. You see painter and performance artist Angela Edwards chatting with Lucius Matthiesen, the audience at Charlotte Rodgers‘ talk on spirit houses etc… Saturnnight ended with a jam session by Roberto Migliussi (vocals), Chris Chibnall (theremin wiz), Gavin Semple (guitar), Mark O Pilkington, Glen Tomney and Freya Black (magic flute). I could not attend the entire session due to being left in charge of guarding the entrance, however I could still enjoy the sound-scapes from the hall below (the tower proving to have amazing acoustics).

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