A trail of artworks at West Norwood Cemetery:
22nd June to 20th July 2012.
The street-sellers of manufactured articles, which class comprises a large number of individuals, as (a) the vendors of chemical articles of manufacture – viz., blacking, lucifers, corn-salves, grease-removing compositions, plating-balls, poison for rats, crackers, detonating-balls, and cigar-lights. (b) The vendors of metal articles of manufacture – razors and pen-knives, tea-trays, dog-collars, and key-rings, hardware, bird-cages, small coins, medals, jewellery, tin-ware, tools, card-counters, red-herring-toasters, trivets, gridirons, and Dutch ovens. (c) The vendors of china and stone articles of manufacture – as cups and saucers, jugs, vases, chimney ornaments, and stone fruit. (d) The vendors of linen, cotton, and silken articles of manufacture – as sheeting, table-covers, cotton, tapes, and thread, boot and stay laces, haberdashery, pretended smuggled goods, shirt-buttons, etc., etc.
Henry Mayhew, London Labour and the London Poor
West Norwood Cemetery is unique among London cemeteries. It is the only cemetery designed completely as an expression of the C19th Gothic revival in its landscaping as well as its original architecture. The thorough research done by historians and Friends of West Norwood Cemetery into the people buried there reveals a fascinating picture of Victorian society at all levels, particularly into their inventiveness, energy and material culture which affected everyday life, as described in the quote above from Mayhew.
In the summer of 2012 a temporary trail of artworks, curated by artist Jane Millar, will be sited around West Norwood Cemetery. A group of 26 artists, 15 of who are based in Lambeth and Southwark, will make the cemetery accessible to new audiences. Some art works will focus on a particular historical burial, linking the artist’s specialism to the burial e.g. the ceramic artists Robert Dawson and Julian Stair will work with the Doulton and Lambeth pottery connections. Artworks will also uncover aspects such as the bird population or plants, different cultural groups represented by burials and themes of mourning, loss and afterlife. The architectural and overgrown areas of the cemetery will be used to theatrical effect as a site for the works, for example; an animated film by Jo Lawrence glowing from inside a mausoleum, Brendan Jamison’s work in the Tate Mausoleum made from sugar cubes, a bus stop to the afterlife, and more. The works can highlight everyday extraordinary lives, as well as the more famous. The trail will evoke a sense of wonder about the site, creating an actual and imaginative journey into the cemetery for visitors, uncovering hidden content and acting as a link to storytelling around the site.
A temporary exhibition in the summer of 2012, it will be designed to attract new and existing, local and wider audiences, to appeal to all ages and to be fully accessible. It will form part of a plan to enhance WNC as a tourist attraction and we plan to make the trail part of a London-wide celebration of culture in 2012, as part of the Cultural Olympiad. The project is being developed with the support of the Friends of West Norwood group, who bring their historical and practical advice and expertise to the project, the Portico gallery, the Outer London Fund, the Cuming Museum and local businesses. We will also be taking part in West Norwood Feast in July 2012, with a Curious stall and artist workshops around the trail.
Nigel Hoyle and Vanessa Woolf are curating a ticketed live evening event for Saturday 7th July, which will be in the atmospheric Greek cemetery.
There will be a map created for the trail, printed and available as a download from the website. The trail will also be a focus for events at the cemetery such as tours and rambles. The trail will be sensitively designed to avoid areas in the site where contemporary burials take place, and the crematorium, so as not to disturb the day-to-day site users.
The 26 artists taking part are:
Frances Burden, Clare Burnett, Robert Dawson, Suzanne De Emmony, Marc Elmes, Emma Fenelon, Deborah Gardner, Martin Grover, Tony Hayward, Sophie Herxheimer, Nigel Hoyle, Amanda Hughes, Brendan Jamison, Samantha Jenkins, Jo Lawrence, Magpie Diaries, Tim Meacham, Yair Meshoulam, Charlie Millar, Jane Millar, Okido, Julian Stair, Judith Tucker, Vanessa Woolf, Georgia Wright, Mei Lee Leung.
If you would like to discuss the project you can contact by email Jane Millar
or telephone 07817906204