Having come to the end of their time in the chapel at Wentworth Woodhouse, I was delighted to be asked if I would consider placing them in the ‘Forest Classroom’ at St Thomas’ Primary School in Rotherham. Of course I agreed, and spent a wet morning positioning them appropriately. It was quickly apparent that this was where they truly belonged; nestled amongst the trees and bushes, enhanced by, and enhancing the natural setting. I realise that, being made from MDF, the panels probably won’t last very long before rotting, but that too seems an appropriate end to their life.
At last, now the Wentworth Woodhouse Media wheels have started to turn, I can reveal that I am one of the lucky few artists to have received a commission to display my work in the chapel. You may (or may not) know that Wentworth Woodhouse, built in the 1700s near Rotherham, England, is the longest stately home in the country and is in the lengthy process of being renovated; something that will take many years. The chapel is in the main body of the house and is a particularly beautiful place to exhibit.
I decided to create an installation called, “Outside In” that recreated a stylised sacred woodland glade, as would have been used by ancient people, inside the chapel – thus bringing together not only the outside and the inside, but the old and the new – ancient symbols, including the Green Man and a Sheela-Na-Gig seen in a place decorated with images of Christian worship.
The 2 metre-high panels were all carved using a hand-held jigsaw. At the end of the chapel can be glimpsed an altar-like area, with a lighted box – revealed only after having passed through the panels.
The installation runs until the end of October.