The Ways

Twelve framed hand-coloured linocuts by Liz Somerville in our window throughout August and September. They’re part of a suite of 48 prints called The Ways, celebrating four ancient paths through England. There’s also a limited edition concertina booklet of all the images in miniature. Read more

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Akrai

Last summer in Sicily, above the town of Palazzolo Acreide, in the Province of Syracuse, we found ourselves at the site of the ancient Greek city of Akrai. Nowadays a collection of stones, still being excavated, and the quarries from which they came, later occupied as cave homes and catacombs. Read more

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Sight

SIGHT an unprecedented site-specific exhibition by British artist Antony Gormley. It marks the first time that a contemporary art exhibition is held on Delos, birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, since the sacred island was first inhabited more than five thousand years ago.

Gormley repopulates the island of Delos with iron ’bodyforms’, restoring a human presence and creating a journey of potential encounters. He has installed 29 sculptures made during the last twenty years, including 5 new works specially commissioned by NEON, both at the periphery and integrated amongst Delos’s archaeological sites. Curated by Iwona Blazwick OBE, Director, Whitechapel Gallery and Elina Kountouri, Director, NEON.

SIGHT is organized and commissioned by NEON and presented in collaboration with the Ephorate of Antiquities of Cyclades. 2 May – 31 October 2019

Sight | Antony Gormley on the island of Delos

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I Have A Small Heart

わたしのチイサナココロ [i have a small heart] is a short documentary accompanying one woman’s journey along the Kumano Kodo through the Kii mountains of Japan. This ancient pilgrimage route, one of only two Unesco World Heritage pilgrimage sites in the world, is considered the spiritual heart of Japan.

Megumi, a thirty-something woman living alone in Mie Prefecture, has always felt a calling to walk the major pilgrimages of the world. We travel with her as she walks the Kumano Kodo seeking solace and connection to the generations of pilgrims around the world.

At the culmination of filming, we were granted extraordinary access to observe a rare ceremony with the Buddhist monks & Shinto priests of the region.

The monks had walked through the mountains for days to pray with the priests. Together, they honored the deeper connections to the land and shared history that transcend any particular religion or practice.

Alongside one small local news team, we were the only camera crew allowed access to document this ceremony.

A labor of love, this film began with these questions:

– Across time and all cultures, humans have established and maintained pilgrimages. What is it that draws us to these difficult journeys?
– How can we reconcile feelings of faith and doubt in religion?
– What role can pilgrimage play in our modern lives?

We hope this film can help be part of the search for the deeper connections that unite us across our different cultures, beliefs, and religions.

Bajir Cannon, Maki Itami Cannon, Megumi Ueno

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Living Symphonies

We came down the hill and over Chingford Plain and joined others arriving from north and south in a steady stream flowing into the woods. I thought of Geoffrey Chaucer – Those that sleep all the night with open eyes… Then folk long to go on pilgrimages… We really should’ve known about this, but it crept up and took us by surprise. We’d been here just a few weeks before, but walking in the opposite direction. Today, 28th July, we got to see it just in time, on its last day in Epping Forest. Read more

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Epping Forest x 3

Three walks in Epping Forest, all within the past few weeks. This time of year I can’t get enough of its green light to escape the city. I never lived in a forest but this place always feels like home. Maybe I did in a previous life, maybe we all did, maybe this is the nearest thing to a prelapsarian London. Read more

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Curious Customs

Look what I found down at the Post Office. It seems like Jonny Hannah got a call from the Royal Mail. I bought the full set of eight stamps in their delightfully designed presentation pack. The lady behind the counter must have taken me for a philatelist, and gave me a calendar of Special Stamps for 2019. She piqued my curiosity by saying the next stamps to be issued will be on Forests. Read more

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Twelve Little Birds

And three parrots. Our window this month at the Rowley Gallery is home to a diverse flock of brightly coloured miniature tropical birds. It’s an aviary of twelve unique life-size watercolour paintings. The parrots are screen prints. And they are all by Fanny Shorter, whose work we have been lucky enough to show for the past ten years now, during which time she has developed from a printmaker of exquisite little birds and fishes into an internationally renowned textile designer. So it was a great pleasure to ask her to make twelve little paintings, just for a change. Read more

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Comfrey & Coggeshall Grange Barn

The plan was to take a circular walk from Kelvedon to Coggeshall and back again via Feering through gentle Essex farming countryside. That was the promise of the guidebook, Walks In The Country Near London, but it had slept on our bookshelf since 2003 and it needed waking up. Or perhaps it’s fairer to say we needed waking up, because it seemed like we stumbled and fell at the first hurdle. Read more

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Never Failed Me Yet

A 12-hour continuous performance of Gavin Bryars’ iconic piece Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet at London’s Tate Modern. Produced by the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the event brought together musicians from the Academy, Southbank Sinfonia and the Gavin Bryars Ensemble who performed throughout the night alongside people with experience of homelessness.

The performance was preceded by more than 50 hours of music making workshops at two day centres for homeless people in London.

‘None of us were homeless last night. Instead we were welcomed and royally entertained as special guests of one of the city’s most glamorous and sophisticated palaces of art!’ Gerry Salmon, participant from The Connection at St Martin’s.

‘Last hour spellbinding, moving, uplifting.’ @domcavendish (Theatre Critic, The Telegraph)

It was outstanding and, in its own way, astounding. And quite, quite beautiful’ The Afterword

Tate Modern / Academy of St Martin in the Fields

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