Saturday, 3 May 2008
St Mary at the Quay
Mrs Lusty is in a church, one of those surplus to requirements. It is pared back to the plaster, cool and high, soulless, definitely redundant. The altar is fenced off to protect the loss of ritual being exposed, tidied away, no longer needed on voyage. Redundant.
We spent a week in Norfolk once exploring redundant churches, they have a society of course, and thus a leaflet.
Most were sitting quietly in the fields, churchyards full of the black death that finally left them abandoned.
Mostly they were built 12th centuryish, small, walls white plastered at a later more severe time but now peeling damply back to shyly reveal the red ochre outlines of paintings that used to revel in the Holy stories.
Very quiet in there, just the noise of the scraping as the big iron key turns and the doors open.
You have to collect the key from a nearby cottage, from someone who now works in the town, or maybe commutes to a bigger one.
Or probably goes nowhere much these days.
The fields around are wide and flat, a few clumps of trees, lots of sky, some rooks and often a skylark shouting excitedly, too high to see.
Mrs. Lusty's church is right in town tho, on the road that runs by the docks, one of many, many churches built later in the fifteenth century and onwards when the town was rich and rich men wanted to buy a place in heaven too.
It has a hammer beam roof and tall, tall arches the length of it. But the water it is so near - that floated the barges that carried the trade that paid for the church that fatty built - made it very damp, even then.
Then the Germans bombed the docks, leaving it wobbly, so now it is only good for arty types to camp out in and do their strange stuff until someone with the right forms can get it dried out and steadied and then do some worthwhile social work from it's shelter.
So there is Mrs Lusty. Looking a little fragile herself, uncorsetted by a frame as she is, but proud to be shown with other Art, no Craft in sight.
Quite a lot of avant guarde student art, Union Jacks splashed with rude words and pixelled hugenesses titled Portal and the like.
Being as it is now on a noisy one way system, out of the shopping town with no parking places, it is doubtful that many will get to view, but display has it's own rewards at times, as long as it doesn't involve raincoats.