Beowulf is possibly the oldest existing poem in England. It is believed to date from the 7th or 8th Century AD (approximately 1,300 years ago) and was written in Anglo-Saxon, a very old form of English. Although it is set in Scandinavia, many historians believe it was written in East Anglia, probably at Rendlesham, in Suffolk. In the poem there are references to ‘fens’ and some of the descriptive passages about the landscape call to mind the vast area we know as The Fens, which covers large parts of Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, and into Lincolnshire.
It may well be that this is the imagined landscape of Beowulf and the haunt of Grendel, from which he emerged to terrorise Hrothgar’s great mead-hall…
In Grendel’s Footsteps
We will use images and ideas taken from the Beowulf * poem as a starting point to explore the modern-day Fens. Uniting ancient landscape with contemporary lived experience, this participatory arts project will tell the stories of living, thriving communities. Prose, poetry and performance will accompany stunning photographic images by Rebecca Green for a touring exhibition and book.
The project will tour to five locations in Fenland, East Cambridgeshire and Norfolk, from September 2014 – May 2015.
*You can read a synposis of the plot of Beowulf here