We are delighted that Grendel will be making its final appearance at a venue in Norfolk: Greyfriars Art Space in Kings Lynn will be hosting the exhibition throughout May 2015.
Come to the launch on Saturday 02 May from 6-8 pm and meet the artist and curator.
Ely, Littleport, Shippea Hill and Feltwell,
Southery, Burnt House and Brandon Creek,
Popham’s, Pingles, Jenny Gray’s and Horsemoor –
All true Fenmen have black-webbed feet.
The rural area of East Anglia known as The Fens or Fenland stretches from Cambridgeshire to Lincolnshire, encompassing parts of Norfolk, Suffolk and the East Midlands.
Due to particular characteristics of the landscape, the Fens have a reputation for eerie remoteness which has inspired writers and poets down the centuries to describe it frequently in terms of alienation, oppression and isolation. Its people have a reputation for being slow to accept strangers into their communities but with a fierce pride in their heritage and a strong attachment to the land. Even today, families can be found who can trace their fenland ancestry back not just a few generations but many hundreds of years.
In Grendel’s Footsteps
This project is not a re-telling of the poem Beowulf but takes some of its themes and imagery as a starting point for a creative exploration into the region of East Anglia known as ‘The Fens’. Rebecca Hall Green’s eloquent social narrative photography documents the lived experience of Fenland in the 21st century.
For those who live in Fenland – and despite the accelerating pace of change – the past walks hand in hand with the present. It can be discerned in the place-names which recall its Anglo-Saxon heritage; Isleham, Outwell, Whittlesey. In the abandoned parish churches which stand as memorials to villages long lost to plague and famine. And in the fens themselves; vast watery areas of boggy marshland which reach from Cambridgeshire to Lincolnshire. Despite centuries of drainage and agricultural management, the threat of flooding is ever-present and Man lives in an uneasy alliance with Nature.
This is the land which bred the Fen Tigers, a feared race of people who, even within living memory, lived a harsh existence as outlaws, meting out their own brutal justice on the unwary trespasser. This too may well be the imagined landscape of Beowulf and the haunt of Grendel, from which he emerged to terrorise Hrothgar’s great mead-hall.
But however tempting it is to lose oneself in myth and romance, Fenland is a place of living, thriving communities whose relationships with this remarkable place is no less vital than that of their forebears. In Grendel’s Footsteps takes us on a journey into the complex, hidden heart of those relationships.
In Grendel’s Footsteps has been made possible through the support of the Arts Council and DiscoverBabylon, with sponsorship from P B & W Solicitors LLP.
It is managed by ADeC (Arts Development East Cambridgeshire) and is a Babylon Gallery Touring Exhibition