Roy Perry, Chairman of the Trustees of the Test Valley Arts Foundation invited a number of guests to a preview of the inaugural exhibition at the recently renovated St Mary's Chapel. This is in the grounds of St Mary's Church, Andover, and has been converted from a redundant Victorian Chapel into a space for the arts. "We met the four resident artists, who are based in the chapel but also do outreach work in schools in Andover. I congratulate the Trustees on a very tasteful conversion turning this into a resource for arts in the town. This is another example of initiatives being taken in the town, despite a challenging financial background. It is good news that Test Valley, The Arts Council and Hampshire County Council have found the resources to go ahead with this conversion, with some help from the private sector in the town.
Below is the Press Release from the Test Valley Arts Foundation
"All the rest…’ in the Chapel
Opening on Saturday, June 26th, ‘All the rest...’ is the inaugural exhibition at Chapel Arts Studio, in the grounds of St Mary’s Church, Andover. This group show by resident artists Dave Dixon, Kate Harding, Russell Moreton and Yonat Nitzan-Green reveals the reincarnated chapel to the public for the first time since its official opening in November 2009.
The artists use clay, books and dust, as well as oil paints, drawings and video in their work which relates to issues of memory and cultural identity.
Harding’s powerful drawings and video installation reawaken the memory of the building in its old use as a Chapel of Rest, and Moreton’s use of clay conveys the fragile and vulnerable body as it leaves its trace in materials.
A book can be described as a ‘vessel of memory and culture’ since its content is made up of facts and imagination. Dixon’s installation is a meditation on the dust which accumulates on forgotten, worn-out books. By contrast, Nitzan-Green’s painting is a response to a book that she read, by the Palestinian author Yahya Yakhlif, entitled A Lake Beyond The Wind. Here, facts and imagination are being used to re-examine the past and present of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
The four artists, with the support of Test Valley Arts Foundation, wish to celebrate with the people of Andover their new understandings of memory and cultural identity through art.
‘All the rest…’ continues until Sunday July 4th.