1215: Runnymede Revisited

In Celebration of the signing of the Magna Carta, St Peter’s, Oare (now in the newly established Parish of Kingsdown and Creekside) will be holding it’s third art exhibit. Many may remember the Divine Dimensions Installations of 2009 and 2010, events made possible not only by the Heritage Lottery Fund but by means of the help of many people in the Faversham community.

As before, St Peter’s will have the show coincide with the East Kent Open Houses tour of the three-week Canterbury Festival, adding to the two other houses on Church Road in Oare that will be opening their doors each weekend from October 17th until November 1st. This year the Oare village hall on Church Road will be open as well, not only for tea and home-made cakes but for a view of ‘Matisse in Oare’, a show of colourful cutouts relating to the signing of the Great Charter, work done by children from local primary schools.

The exhibition at St Peter’s, ‘1215: Runnymede Revisited’, features several international artists as well as distinguished local contributors. As the Magna Carta had an influence on the Constitution of the United States of America, it is fitting that there should be some U.S. artists showing their work. Liz Pyle‘s great grandfather was Howard Pyle, known as the Father of American Illustration. Liz herself, a graduate of Philadelphia School of Art and the Royal College of Art is a well-known artist and illustrator who works in powder pigment. She is joined by Tom Lulevitch, whose illustration work can be seen in such publications as the New Yorker. In this show, however, he will display ethereal work in egg tempera with oil glazes. Four iconographers from the 2009 show will also present work, but it will be work in quite different styles. There will be examples of icons done in bronze and examples of medieval illumination. The show will include several members of the faculty of the Prince’s School of Traditional Art whose expertise will be obvious, and a winner of the Sunday Telegraph Watercolour Competition. Finally, Cas Holmes, well known for her work with stitchery, and Paul Fowler, whose watercolours on gesso were much praised at The Alexander Centre, and John Corley’s stained glass from Deal will make up the 12 artists whose work forms the show. The materials and basic methods of the art on display were known to the medievals, and that detail is expected to further unify the exhibit.

The show seeks to ask the question, if we were writing a new Magna Carta what would we add? For many of the artists the answer is a more harmonious world, a world where the honeybee stills hides within the lilies of the field.

The dates of the Artist’s Open Houses are October 17th and 18th, 24th and 25th, October 31st and November 1st. Opening hours for the Church and Village Hall are 11am – 4 pm . The church also plans other events on weekdays during the period of the exhibit. On Wednesday, October 21st at 7:15 pm, there will be an illustrated talk by the Lithuanian sculptor Aleksandras Alekjevas on the Bronze icons of the persecuted Old Believers, and on Thursday, October 29th at 7:30 pm, Bill Lewis the Medway poet and storyteller will read from his work with musical interludes from members of the Oare String Orchestra. A portion of the proceeds from these events will go to charity.

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