Contemporary Art – Lore of the Land


Jessica Warboys, 2012

An evening event as part of Contemporary Arts in Dorchester Abbey (CADA) and Dorchester-on-Thames Festival

Visitors are encouraged to arrive before 7.30pm to explore the Abbey and grounds in which works are situated.

Combining performance, video and sculpture, artists Beth Collar, Una Knox, Holly Slingsby, Patrick Staff and Jessica Warboys are producing new works specifically for this one-off event. Acknowledging the relevant interests of each artist, the context of the medieval Abbey which dates back to 1140, as well as the time of year, Lore of the Land will draw on notions of history, tradition, storytelling, legends, myth, nature, landscape, belief and folklore.

The pipe organ was the most advanced machine of any given town or village for hundreds of years, requiring a knowledge of various disciplines to assemble and maintain. Choosing to incorporate the rich history of the organ in her work, Una Knox will be presenting a performance and video that explores the intersection of science and mystical faith.

Jessica Warboys will make a series of new sculptures, to be exhibited in the herb garden of the Abbey grounds. Developed from sculptures featured in her previous films including Pageant Roll, 2012, commissioned for dOCUMENTA (13), the objects will be made from wood, glass, and ceramics.

Beth Collar, Patrick Staff and Holly Slingsby are all developing new performance works, each exploring a different historical and physical aspect of the space. Now no longer obtainable from English mines, Alabaster is a material bound to the depiction of the dead in European tomb art. Collar’s performance will take the Alabaster effigy in the Abbey as a conversation partner. Referencing the myth and legend of the May Queen and the Green Man, a transcendental moment forms the basis of Slingsby’s performance. Staff will be working with a dancer on a piece incorporating a shared dialogue between the making and material of religious iconography, in relation to the global exchange of scrap metal and its theft.

Curated by Holly Slingsby and Matilda Strang
For further enquires please email

Free return coach travel between London and Dorchester will be provided. Places are limited so please RSVP to before 10th April
Nearest train stations: Oxford and Didcot
Buses: X39 from Oxford alighting at Dorchester bypass

Beth-CollarBeth Collar 

Beth Collar graduated from the RCA Sculpture department in 2012. Her work spans film, objects, performance and drawing. She has a strong interest in gesture, costume and historical reenactment, with a particular fascination for the medieval. She was selected for the Whitechapel Open in 2012 and has also shown at CCA Glasgow and The Drawing Room, London.

 Una-KnoxUna Knox 

Una Knox graduated from the MA at Goldsmiths in 2010 and was part of New Contemporaries in 2009. She makes videos, photographs and print works, often exploring the nature of memory and doubt in relation to spaces such as museums. She has made several pieces responding to particular sites, the most recent being filmed in the cast court at the V&A. Her work was profiled in Art Monthly, September 2012 and she is a recipient of the Red Mansion Art Prize.

Patrick-StaffPatrick Staff 
Patrick Staff works in video, performance and publications. His work explores social and political spaces and how spaces shape behaviour, as well as different notions of value. His recent shows and performances have been at Tate Modern, Whitstable Biennial and Monte Vista, Los Angeles. He was recently an Associate Artist at LUX in London

Holly Slingsby

Holly Slingsby performs at Dorchester Festival
Holly Slingsby, Our Lady of SUPERNORMAL, 2012. Performance at Brazier’s Park, Oxfordshire. Photo by Adam Papaphilippopoulos

Holly Slingsby’s practice centres on performance but also employs drawing, objects and video. Her work investigates imagery from different religious and mythical traditions, exploring the inherited lexicon of symbols and the overlaps in different cultures. She graduated from the MFA at the Slade in 2010 and has since made performances at galleries including the Barbican, Modern Art Oxford and the ICA, London.Jessica Warboys performs at Dorchester Festival

Jessica Warboys 

Jessica Warboys makes films, performances and paintings, often combining symbolic objects and actions with a natural element such as the sun or the sea. The Guardian describes her work as “deeply romantic, breathing new life into historical figures and ideas. Like a JW Turner or a Friedrich, she’s keen on the great outdoors, but uses a radical approach.” Her recent exhibitions include a performance at the South London Gallery and a commission for the major international group show dOCUMENTA 13.

Ticket Price:£5.00
Venue:Dorchester Abbey
Date/Time:Monday 6th May, 7.30pm

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