A subject we return to is the urban environment and its layers. Occasionally, substantive reference points persist over time, but even immense structures eventually fall into disrepair and decay and inevitably memory, at this point memory becomes as much of a reference point as anything that persists. We’ve explored this concept by the Thames before, through briefly glimpsed wisps of people floating between old and new layers in ‘Bridge’ 2017. We returned to layered history once again in ‘Limehouse, One Dock Two Views’ 2019.
Now that a new Lockdown influences our daily movements our aperture of view has shifted subtly to our local town, Bury St Edmunds and it’s market. In existence for at least 1000 years, the essential medieval grid of the town and how it related to the Abbey has persisted. The huge Abbey is long gone, though amorphous architectural ruins strewn across the public gardens remain. The Buttermarket and it’s two weekly markets has changed over the years, but remains lively, though Lockdown has changed the movement of people. The reference points remain, the ancient grid now overlayed with a strict 2 metre rule to ensure social distancing. The Moyses Hall stands sentry over 900 years of layers and textures that have changed, adapted and renewed with the town’s remarkable history. This opens the market to a collaborative piece that gives us an opportunity to spotlight both the temporary nature of people in their environments and the persistence of people and activity among their reference points.
This will be a new subject for Lorna who has lived and grown very accustomed to the town over the last 5 years and Stephen’s paintings from 1997 already represent a layer glimpsed in the past that he’s keen to revisit.
We look forward to updating you with progress.