October 2008

Paston exhibition success in the sun

Posted by Tim Lenton on 13 October 2008 at 14:20 in Journal

Tags: book church exhibition paston

Annette with the book in Paston Church View image Horses Brawl in rehearsal View image Annette and poet Adrian Ward with Tim's wife Dot View image Dot takes a close look at Lucy's installation featuring her own film and Tim's poem Here is the Book View image Four medieval heroes: Ruth, Neil, Brigette and Lucy View image Doorway encounter: artist Martin Laurance is second right View image Brigette with the scrivener View image Sun on a graveyard tree View image

The "amazing weekend" forecast for the Paston exhibition turned out to be exactly that, with the sun shining brightly throughout, and medieval characters to be found enjoying the unexpected warmth of the sun in the graveyard, as well as fulfilling such functions as scrivener and paper-maker inside. In the normally cold church the atmosphere was temperate, even for the Latin Compline on the Saturday evening, when fog paid a fleeting visit outside.

The Private View on the Friday evening was a big success, with a fascinating film of the project being followed by a poetry reading, in which InPrint poets Caroline Gilfillan, Lisa D'Onofrio and Tim Lenton took part. The handmade, leather-bound book had centre stage, with InPrint's Annette Rolston turning the pages and explaining the background. Prints and poems from the book were on display. Small facsimiles of the book were very popular at £10 a time, and two copies of the big book, priced at £850 each, were ordered during the weekend.

On the Saturday Annette and Lisa offered a workshop, and bookbinder Judith Ellis from Aylsham demonstrated her skills. There were further poetry readings from the InPrint poets and from the other Paston poets – Dot Cobley, Kay Riggs, Rob Knee and Adrian Ward. Natural England organised a couple of visits to the Great Barn, which is rarely accessible. Visitors to the exhibition were augmented by a large party of ramblers who happened by and who found the whole project fascinating, especially Annette's description of the book's contents.

Sunday was dominated by the visit of medieval music interpreters Horses Brawl, who rehearsed during the afternoon and put on a concert of 18 songs in the evening, interspersed by readings from the Paston Letters. One of the pieces, sung by Jennie Cassidy, was from a manuscript found in the church in the 1920s and dating back to the time of the Pastons. It was believed to be the first time it had been heard since that time, and it was beautifully sung by Jennie.

InPrint were proud to be part of the project, which owed much of its sucess to Annette's determination to master the innovative non-toxic intaglio process and produce excellent prints. Lucy Care, from the Paston Heritage Society, had the vision for the whole thing and worked closely with Annette to bring it to fruition. Part of the exhibition will now go on show at Nottingham, and at the North Norfolk District Council offices in Cromer. The book itself will be on display in the Millennium Library in Norwich in December, and more exhibitions are lined up for the New Year. The Eastern Daily Press recognised the importance of the project by devoting two full page threes to it – one on the Friday and one on the Monday.

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Paston exhibition ready – despite the mud

Posted by Tim Lenton on 10 October 2008 at 11:21 in Journal

Tags: mud paston prints

Annette gets to grips with unloading the van View image No sign of the van yet... View image Another helper arrives View image Jack Earl goes in search of the van View image Light on the altar: a beautiful afternoon View image Mike carries the screen supports from van to church View image Teri helps Annette to list the exhibits View image Teri helps with thte unloading View image The van between mud and mud View image Late afternoon light through the church window View image

InPrint members overcame unexpected obstacles when they put together the Paston exhibition at St Margaret's Church on October 9. The weather was wonderful, the church was open, Ruth had made buns and tea, and Jack Earl was waiting to assist – but where was the van with the screens, driven by InPrint organiser Annette? InPrint poet Tim had given some small assistance to Simeon Care in delivering one or two items from the home of Paston Heritage Society supremo Lucy Care, and there was nothing left to do but wait...

Meanwhile some ten or twelve miles away, the missing van was stuck in the mud at Rackheath, and proving impossible to free. Eventually a local produced a chainsaw and cut down a tree, narrowly avoiding reducing the InPrint membership figures in the process, and after some more manouevering, the van was free – and ready to pick up the screens. By 2.30pm, after much anticipation, the van put in an appearance at Paston Church, and the screens and other materials were unloaded.

A certain amount of reorganisation was then necessary after it was found that the master diagram allowed for too little space down the central aisle, but some quick rethinking resulted in the screens being erected in the pews, and the prints – looking every bit as stunning as had been predicted – were carefully positioned. Meanwhile, Siri-Susanna Taylor was checking out her film settings for the following evening's Private View, a florist from North Walsham arrived to check the church for a wedding, and an elderly couple turned up from Nottingham to look at the building and its usual contents (for which Jack proved an expert guide).

By about 5.30 everything that could be done had been done, and everyone prepared to leave. Everyone did leave, in fact, apart from the occupants of the van, which – you guessed it – found some more mud to get stuck in. All efforts proved in vain, and the van ploughed deeper and deeper in. But Annette and Teri Lockton, one of the Paston artists, managed to get a lift to Mundesley, where they obtained a tow out from a local garage. It was that sort of day.

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