THE BELL TOWER RESIDENCY, ARTIST’S TALK
Our 2014 Artist in Residence, Andrea McLean, returned to Yarpole on 6th September 2015, marking the first anniversary of her stay here. Andrea presented the final painting to an audience of 45, including working drawings, smaller paintings, and her sketchbooks.
Curator Jo King introduced Andrea, and explained the relevance Andrea’s residency held for the community; St Leonard’s church is now the hub of the village, and Andrea’s layered drawing of the historic building and the bustle of contemporary use, all linked both literally and metaphorically by pathways and chains, was a fascinating comment and narrative through which to view the way in which the community has embraced and re-invigorated the old, and indeed how the old has generously given of itself for modern use. Andrea has mixing and fixing history and modernity in this circular, busy painting, and she has put herself, the painter, at the centre of it, standing in the doorway of the central Bell tower, painting through time and space.
Andrea then spoke on the painting and her influences and ideas, looking at medieval religious painting and the first (circular) maps, especially The Mappa Mundi (Hereford Cathedral). She talked about the floor tiles, the colours of the stones, the linked chains (also referencing the Hereford Cathedral chained library) and how these three elements came together to weave through the old into the new, with the bicycle, dog,ladder, current activity.. And the trees are also very significant, both as growth and life, and as building structure and material.
It was a fascinating talk and a huge privilege to be able to view the paintings inside the church. Andrea is still working on ideas from the residency, and Ludlow Open has arranged for Andrea to donate a small painting to St Leonard’s, to kick start it’s own collection of contemporary art around the Bell Tower theme.
Please click on images to view photographs of the residency, the talk and the finished work.