As the inaugural Artist-in-Residence for the St. James’ Campaign, Weybridge, I explored the theme of belonging in the context of change, interweaving the digital and handmade to create a series of works in 2D, 3D and sound. The project was a new collaboration between St James’ Church, the RC Sherriff Trust, Elmbridge Borough Council and the Weybridge Town Centre Business Group.
Audio project ‘Vocal’ was at the heart of the installation in which people across the community distilled their experiences of belonging, or not belonging, into a six-word story or short statement. These were recorded and played sequentially from three speakers creating a triangular path of sound within St. James’ Church. ‘Vocal’ is not available online but written extracts can be seen in the artwork ‘Voiced’.
The ‘&’ Series of archival prints explored the idea of belonging and identity through the ‘&’ symbol which, historically, was created by joining together the letters ‘e’ and ‘t’ from the Latin word ‘et’ which means ‘and’. Each has its own character and personality. In response to the work, art critic and author Jonathan Koestle-Cate explained that the ampersand is ‘A typographical element but requiring companionship on either side to achieve its full meaning… Set in their type cases, another architecture of belonging, like cells or chambers of a house, some isolated in their spaces, others seemingly content to share their space.’
Around ‘Vocal’ new connections were interwoven by means of a lighting scheme and the mirrored font cover, ‘In-Sight’, which enlarged the vision of the space by revealing the presence of a peephole in the Bell Tower whilst inverting the wooden roof, shaped like a ship’s keel, and setting it into the water of the font. ‘Plan A, B, C and D’ then charted how my experience and perception of St James’ Church changed over the course of my residency.