Art and Sacred Places


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Sam Winston - One Thinks of Another

Sam Winston, whose art focuses on language, investigated its use in the worship of Newport Quaker Meeting House. He examined the differences between the spoken and written word and how each carried a particular resonance.

Comments by members of the Quaker Meeting: "The degree of interest and the interaction between the participating faiths was remarkable"; "Deep and intriguing dialogue"; "There are continuing unexpected outcomes - more sharing."; "People who had no interest in art took part in the project. They found it so rewarding."

Project: Winston's work is always about text - whether it is inside language, in typography or even in the structure of a book. His remarkable insight into how words behave is founded on his research into existing patterns and prevalent themes. His interest in the rich relationship between language and the sacred was shared by the Quaker group. The project reflected the sense of spirit in Quaker worship, particularly during the giving of ministry.

The resulting artwork, in the form of a minimal play, focussed on the Quakers' emphasis on the meeting rather than on the place of worship. Entitled One Thinks of Another conscious thought is attributed to this exquisitely encased three act play which is attempting to remove every bit of itself in order to become part of every day life. It seemed to Winston that the Quakers' worship held certain similarities with this art form.

On a visual level, using certain types of everyday words and phrases, Winston explored the more vibrant character of speech language as opposed to the less energetic written word.

Winston's artwork was one of six artists' books produced for the Art and Sacred Places Six Sacred Sites project in collaboration with 'aspex' gallery, Portsmouth, 'The Winchester Gallery' and 'Hampshire Sculpture Trust'. The project was designed to explore the range of ways in which a location may be regarded as sacred and to reflect on the enduring power and significance of the notion of sacredness in our society.

Six Sacred Sites exhibitions and events included:

23rd September to 16th October, 2006 - Basingstoke Hindu Society, Carnival Hall
28th October to 19th November, 2006 - Portsmouth Anglican Cathedral
19th November, 2006 - RoadPeace Service for World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims
8th January, 2007 - South Wonston Primary School
13th January to 17th February, 2007 - Rope Store Gallery, Quay Arts, Newport, Isle of Wight - Meeting Place of the Newport Quaker group
23rd February to 18th March, 2007 - Aspex Gallery, Vulcan Building, Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth
6th July to 2nd August, 2007 - The Winchester Gallery
13th July 2007 - Artists' Book Symposium with UWE and Winchester School of Art

Project funders and supporters: Arts Council England SE, Hampshire County Council, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Portsmouth City Council, Winchester City Council, aspex gallery, University of Southampton


Art and Sacred Places - MMXVI-MMXVII