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7th October 2014, 11:22am
Contemporary art transforms church with windows into another world
Lincolnshire Wolds A new art installation is arriving at a historic Lincolnshire church, inviting visitors to glimpse the beauty of the county’s rural landscape through a unique series of windows.

The Church of St Peter and St Paul in Caistor will be transformed by artists Lynn Dennison and Gen Doy under the Altered: Contemporary Art in Ancient Churches programme – a pioneering partnership between the University of Lincoln, artsNK and The Diocese of Lincoln which challenges audiences to view ancient church buildings in new ways through contemporary art.

On Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th October 2014, the artists will showcase ‘When will our fields be seen, our church bells heard?’- a new sound and film-based installation inspired by the poems of Charles Tennyson Turner. The installation has been designed and created especially for the church.

Charles Tennyson Turner, the elder brother of Alfred Lord Tennyson, was a poet, sometime Caistor resident and priest of nearby Grasby All Saints during the 19th Century. His celebrated poem, Sunrise, describes how shadows cast through a window can inspire thoughts of beauty; a notion encompassed by ‘When will our fields be seen, our church bells heard?

The installation will present video of the picturesque landscape surrounding Caistor and encourage visitors to celebrate the natural environment of the Lincolnshire Wolds and Humber estuary, projecting window scenes onto the walls and juxtaposing nature with the architecture of the historic building.

Artist Lynn Dennison‘s artwork explores what happens when the exterior meets the interior, and Gen Doy’s current artistic practice involves sound installation and performance, with a particular interest in sites of historical or social significance.

Their work, which represents the final installation in the Altered series for 2014, will be accompanied by a unique soundscape comprising sounds of the church, field recordings created in nearby rural locations, and a selection of poems by Tennyson Turner, spoken, sung and set to music.

Speaking about their Altered installation, they said: “We are interested in the idea of the scene through the window being visible where it is not. These windows with the accompanying poetry and sound will transport viewers to other times and places, by creating a window to another world.”

Chris Heighton, Arts Partnership Development Manager at the University of Lincoln, said: “We are delighted to be working with Lynn Dennison and Gen Doy, and are extremely excited to see how their inspiring work will transform this beautiful church. It has been wonderful to witness the public reaction to the Altered programme, with each new installation revealing stories and legends concealed deep within Lincolnshire’s churches. We are sure that this, as our last of eight commissions, will continue the project’s legacy of inspiring local communities.”

The artists will also run a workshop to coincide with the exhibition. Students from local schools will explore how to create visual poetry through image and sound by recording soundscapes and using photographs, film footage, painting and drawing for illustration.

Marion Sander, Visual Arts Development Coordinator at artsNK, said: “Altered is a brilliant concept which has proven that the arts are an ideal vehicle to excite existing and create new audiences for the many ancient churches that are incredible art works in their own right.”

Ben Stoker, Church Development Officer for the Diocese of Lincoln, added: “Alfred is the most famous Tennyson brother, but Charles is a fine poet whose work will be used to transform the church of St Peter and St Paul, along with inspiring images of the surrounding landscape. It will be a great end to our commissioning programme before the Altered touring programme takes place in May 2015.”  

When will our fields be seen, our church bells heard?’ will open to the public from 10am – 7pm on Saturday 18th and 11.30am-7pm on Sunday 19th October 2014.

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