Yesterday a trip to one of my favourite places.. Romney Marsh. A flat silt plain that until the 1950s was inhabited only by sheep. Across the long, flat vista can be seen Dungeness Power Station – promising me the wonders of Dungeness beach and the flotsam and jetsom that I love collecting so much.
Yesterday was the last of four weekends when five of the medieval marsh churches are open for Art in Romney Marsh which takes place each year. A mixture of site specific and curator invited art.
On a wet, windy day the glorious churches were a welcome haven and jewels in their own right. Two or three artists in each church and an invigilating artist to chat to. A highly recommended way of spending a Sunday next year.
Of the work, Michael Healey’s floating pink globe that reflected the pale pink box pews of Old Romney church was a favorite. The pews were painted in the 1960’s when Disney filmed there. Somehow it caught the gentle absudity of it all perfectly.
Julian Rowe’s tiny sculptural installation reduced the historical coastal Martello Towers to a Hornby sized layout. Reducing these massive, confrontaional, military defences to a defenceless plan at my feet moved me.
My main reason for going was that Ros Barker – my art partner in the Farninghham Hobby Horse Project -was showing in St Mary in the Marsh church. Her finely worked boxes and pillow looked quite different in the ecclesiastical setting. They semed to hold some of the reverential silence. Maybe because they are so pale. Maybe because they speak of the past.
Extraordinary sometimes how work can feel so different in another setting. I wonder if the Tate curators sometimes look at something famous in its new exhibition space and feel it to be a different piece of art to the one they saw in New York/ Hamburg/Berlin?