15th July – 24th September 2023

We continue our exploration of WATER with the responses of four contemporary artists. We are very grateful to them for presenting us with new ways to think about the theme, and to see Hungate, this precious building, differently.

Jen Fox is exploring thresholds. Drawing parallels between erosion and climate change and the fragility of life, whilst considering their relationship.

Fragile Ground is an installation of over 300 clay tiles, each with an impression taken from the foot. Individually made using red oxide from the local river near to Jen’s home. The process of making the tiles alongside the performance of walking provides Jen with a feeling of connectedness, an experience of unbroken response and deep connection through both her hands and feet. Walking and making has become a ritual practice and somehow has deepened the connection to the ground. To understand the dialogue between the piece in different locations, Jen installed ‘tile thresholds’ within church ruins. Her research continues in exploring thresholds as liminal space.

Joella Gardner’s process-led practice is based on a personal engagement with nature and sustainability.

Fascinated by the details and processes of the organic, her work celebrates and carries an essence of what she experiences in the natural world. Gardner’s ‘Seven Vessels’ respond to the physical structure of the sacramental font and the use of water in ritualistic activities. Water plays an integral role in her own work, and in order to create these vessels, water and natural materials were gathered from seven different locations and then combined with paper pulp to form the fragile structures.

Paeony Lewis; Flow

Water streams down the altar steps, anchored by Norfolk holed flints. To create a different way of seeing, the materiality of water was combined with alternative, cameraless photography. The ripples were exposed by light flashed on traditional photographic paper suspended in water collected from St Helen’s Well in Thetford Forest, a chalk spring imbued with millennia of ritual. Enlarged ripples on silk reveal the hidden shape of water. Whether water is silent in a church font until scooped and sprinkled at the time of a blessing, or we gaze at the sea, or use water to drink and wash; our emotional relationship with water never runs still.

Russell Moreton is a visual artist interested in gathering research and responding to the historical site of St Peter, Hungate.

He has explored the exhibition theme ‘Water’ as both a spiritual and corporeal inquiry for site-specific artworks. He has spent time developing working ideas that have an affective resonance to the architectural setting of their presentation. His use of slab built ceramics vessels echo the stillness and muted silence experienced within the medieval fabric of the Hungate. He has used a figural drawing on Chinese paper, processed by the evident passage of water to explore the representation of the human form in this particular place.

With many thanks to the East Anglian Art Fund for their support www.eastangliaartfund.org.uk