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19th October 2012, 12:33pm
Sea change for Lincolnshire church
St Peter's Church, South Somercotes A Lincolnshire artist is creating a unique opportunity for people to experience the North Sea tidal flows - inside a small village church.

Gary Woods has been commissioned to produce a new artwork that demonstrates the importance of
churches as focal points for the arts in rurally isolated communities.

High Tide, which is inspired by the area’s connection to the sea and salt making, involves a new film being projected on the floor of the nave of St Peter's Church in South Somercotes, Lincolnshire.

It is the first in a series of contemporary artworks that will be commissioned over the coming months as part of the ‘Altered’ arts in churches programme - a partnership initiative between the University of Lincoln, artsNK, The Diocese of Lincoln and the Churches Conservation Trust.

Chris Heighton, Arts Partnership Development Manager at the University of Lincoln, said: “Altered sets out to challenge arts audiences to view Lincolnshire’s historic churches in new ways, through a series of unique commissions that explore and re-tell the many stories and legends deep within the county’s churches.”

Nick Jones, artsNK Visual Arts manager, added: “Gary’s piece is a perfect illustration of what we want to do as it is specifically inspired by the place. Gary’s proposal to create a digital projection of the east coast tide washing over the nave floor is the sort of innovative art work that we hope will capture people’s imagination, regardless of their age or artistic experience.”

The ‘Altered’ programme will continue with a further piece by Rhubarb Theatre and Brickbeat Studios in May 2013 and two new commissions in Heckington. The organisers are keen for anyone interested in seeing arts activity in their churches to come along and find out about their long-term plans.

Ben Stoker, Lincolnshire Open Churches Officer for the Diocese of Lincoln, said: “This first phase is about demonstrating the value of arts in church initiatives. Phase two is to roll out the programme to new communities and churches, with some funding, advice and support available to build a bigger festival of events that can make a bigger contribution to the county.”

‘Altered’ has been funded by Arts Council England and Lincolnshire County Council to provide more people with an opportunity to experience great art and develop an arts programme that can improve the quality of life and local economy in the county.

High Tide will be open to the public on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th November from 2pm to 9pm. Admission is £4 for adults, £2 concessions and children are free.

All tickets are available from the box office at the Terry O’Toole Theatre on 01522 883311.

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