As with the stag or the bear, man lived with and amongst nature, till he learnt to till the land and become a farmer and learnt to harness and exploit the harvest from other living things. Over thousands of years man has now removed itself so completely from its organic roots that it has come insensitive to the damage and consequences of its actions. Using the Threadbare helmet as our ancestors would have used the stag's head and performed amongst the dead in an ancient graveyard.
A life-sized male torso made entirely from two layers of sellotape and cotton threads, it represents the sparse records of a blood line that invaded our shores in 1066, the Barham family, spanning 500 years. They built Maidstone museum, were the chief culprits in the murder of Thomas à Beckett, re-emerged in Richard II’s reign to put down a rebel revolt from Kent and were linked by marriage to Henry VIII’s beheaded wives. Integrated, they dissolved into the indigenous families of the south of England, with little evidence surviving, just records now held together with sellotape. Even their coat of arms is shrouded in mystery with three muzzled bears – thought to be a pun on bare – Bar(e)ham.
The Creative Spread over the Land
With our everyday contact with prepacked foods wrapped in cellophane for chicken, fish and vegetables to plastic bags storing bread, frozen food to fruit we as mammals absorb minute particles throughout skin and again in our digestive system. Like a caterpillar we are now going through a metamorphous, yet we are unlikely to become butterflies.
Performance by Noel East-Hall
Thursday 14th April 2022
Invited by the Canterbury Diocese to create an installation about The last 24 hours of Jesus’s Life, to mark the visit by the Archbishop of Canterbury to St Mary’s, Sellindge.
A lot happens in The last 24 hours of Jesus’ life. It starts with the last supper and ends with his death. Over an evening meal Jesus breaks bread and drinks wine as a symbol of remembrance, which has become the symbolic ritual of the Christian faith. Jesus then predicts and finds that each of his disciples' betrayals him, leading to a series of overnight interrogations and abuse by his church and the Romans. When dawn break and due to a predisposed mob, he is then put on trial, condemned and humiliated to carry his cross for his own crucifixion, collimating that evening with his death.
A shocking similarity with present day's abuse of power when authorities are faced with resistance, peaceful demonstration or opposition.
Works included: Everyone Wants to go to Heaven, but Nobody wants to Die, No-one is Perfect, The Last Supper, Would you Carry the Means to your Death and Crown of Thorns.
The event was covered by the National press for the Easter Sunday papers and featured on the front cover of the Observer Newspaper and by the BBC programme Have I Got News for You which was broadcast the following week.
Music was especially composed by Brian G Hanson for the event.