Monday, February 12, 2007

The Rings of Saturn Art Exhibition

The Guardian Review has details about an art exhibition inspired by W G Sebald's The Rings of Saturn, which is a (highly idiosyncratic) account of his travels through the coastal regions of East Anglia:

Before he stopped in Middleton, Sebald's fictional self went to Dunwich, one of the most important towns in medieval England, with possibly as many as 18 churches, before it was lost to sea. It was also a place of pilgrimage, in the Victorian age, for melancholy poets such as Swinburne, who described it as "a land that is lonelier than ruin". In Guy Moreton's photographs of the ruins of St Andrew's, Walberswick, captured with a 10inx8in camera, we get a sense of that dissolution. Lonely, yes, but the images are so dense, rich and sensual we nearly forget that they are recording the continual process of decay.

Moreton reminds us that faith erected these places, places that were once inhabited, active, hopeful. They are symbols of eternal life crumbling into dust and ash. By portraying them in quiet dignity, he gives us an assurance of their still-sacred value. The photos are accompanied by Alec Finlay's watercolours, reinforcing that spiritual symbolism. Finlay has transformed bell-methods, usually represented by number sequences, into rows of concentric primary-coloured circles.

More on the exhibition here.

4 comments:

Antonia said...

this sounds like I should go there
highly idiosyncratic :)

Alok said...

you should definitely go out somewhere ("dispelling the emptiness" that sebald talks of in the beginning of the book)... and may be write your own rings of saturn :)

Antonia said...

alok,I have seen the rings of saturn once here from the telescope.that was so awesome....there were lots of people, a queue who wanted to see them as well, and I vcouldnt get enough of it, but alas there was not enough time and I said to the telescope guy how beautiful they are and he said that too and somehow everyone was happy who looked through the telescope. that has some magic,looking in space....

Teju said...

OH. MY.