A Gift for the Illuminated Sphere

A few weeks ago I was involved in a creative thought-experiment in which Anglo-Saxonists from King’s College London were invited to respond to the current abstract art exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery ‘Adventures in the Black Square.’  In preparation for an event hosted by writer-in-residence, Caroline Bergvall, called ‘Adventures in the Illuminated Sphere – a meeting point between medieval culture and contemporary art’ we made a class trip to the exhibit and played with thinking medieval in a modern space. It required us to do the kind of close, superficial reading which would usually be discouraged: a reading of your own biases and interests into absolute alterity.

I thought about:

*Paper cultures/Textual Cultures

*Abstraction as a form of anarchic marginalia

*Language and script as a foundational pattern for visuals

The result of this thought-experiment was a vibrant and surreal evening for which Fran Allfrey and I produced a book of juxtapositions and uncanny reflections between the abstract and the medieval. Fran was responsible for the design and physical/digital making of the book, and we were both responsible for contributing ideas and concepts. You can enjoy the book on Issuu, it’s our gift to you.

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