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20th May 2014, 2:16pm
Contemporary art meets medieval pilgrimage at rural Lincolnshire church
'Codex' An acclaimed artist duo will transform a rural Lincolnshire church in the latest commission to be made as part of the celebrated ‘Altered’ arts in churches programme.

London-based artists TROPE, who specialise in screen-less animation, have created an interactive and immersive installation, which will greet visitors to the Church of St James in Dry Doddington later this month.

Entitled Codex, the work is created around the concept of pilgrimage as a historical event and explores the Way of St James – one of the most renowned medieval pilgrimages. Visitors to the 12th century church will experience a collection of scallop shells on the ground which will involve them within the installation. Each time they step on a shell they will activate a variety of sounds and harmonies, and create their own rich musical score.

The sounds will be a choral composition inspired by Codex Calixtinus, the medieval manuscript that includes advice for pilgrims following the Way of St James, and the first recorded polyphonic music compositions. These sounds will be emitted by a stunning musical fountain created from a collection of large shells.

This is the latest in a series of artworks to be commissioned as part of the successful ‘Altered’ arts in churches programme - a pioneering partnership initiative between the University of Lincoln, artsNK and The Diocese of Lincoln. Funded by Arts Council England and Lincolnshire County Council, the programme aims to open up both rural churches and contemporary art to new audiences.

Chris Heighton, Arts Partnership Development Manager at the University of Lincoln, said: “Altered sets out to challenge visitors to view the county's historic churches in new ways through the prism of contemporary art. Each new commission explores and re-tells the many stories and legends deep within Lincolnshire’s churches to inspire communities, and Codex is a fantastic example of this.”

Codex opens to the public on Saturday 24th May, from 10am – 9pm, Sunday 25th May from 11:30am – 9pm and Monday 26th May from 10am – 4pm. The installation is free to view, with donations to the church fund welcomed.

There will also be a series of community workshops hosted by the TROPE artists on Saturday 24th May. Visitors will be invited to create their own clay scallop shells, explore the technology behind the Codex soundtrack and produce their own musical arrangements.

TROPE is an Anglo-French partnership between Carol MacGillivray and Bruno Mathez. Together they create hybrid artworks using an immersive system of animation, which they call the ‘Diasynchronoscope’.

Speaking ahead of the exhibition at Dry Doddington, TROPE said: “As it is new and you have to be there to understand the ‘Diasynchronoscope’, we want to show our work to as many people as possible. Codex itself represents an allegorical, interactive and illustrated journey towards a sacred place, which can be representative both of a pilgrimage and of personal self-development.”

Ben Stoker, Church Development Officer for the Diocese of Lincoln, added: “Codex takes as its inspiration the Way of St James, and we are really looking forward to welcoming people from all over the county and beyond to the Church of St James, Dry Doddington. We are certain that their journeys to the church will be richly rewarded.”

For more information on Altered visit If you would like to attend the free TROPE workshop on Saturday 24th May, please contact Muriel Marr via or 01529 410595.

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