Birchington artist exhibits armistice exhibition at Canterbury Cathedral

Dawn Cole has opened Remember Me?! at the cathedral

A Birchington artist is exhibiting works at Chapter House in Canterbury Cathedral to mark the centenary of the armistice.

Remember Me?! by Dawn Cole has been made in response to her time as Artist in Residence for The Canterbury Journey at Canterbury Cathedral.

This exhibition is inspired by items in the cathedral’s archive and library that reference the First World War and Remembrance.

Taking the poppy as the starting point Cole’s research has taken her from the earliest reference she could find in the cathedral’s archive,; in a 1633 Herbal book, to its adoption as a symbol of remembrance in 1921.

Her research also uncovered the work of the Canterbury War Work Depot, an organisation set up to provide supplies such as bandages, medical supplies, blankets, pyjamas and pillowcases to hospitals nursing the wounded and dying of World War One and who also made sandbags in the Chapter House, the location of Cole’s exhibition.

Remember Me?! features 100 plaster castings of hand embroidered pillowcases and four screen printed panels that on close inspection are made from thousands of tiny poppies but only reveal their true content from a distance.

The exhibition is supported by The Canterbury Journey, a six- year long restoration and public engagement project which has secured £13.8million from the Heritage Lottery Fund and match funding from the Friends of Canterbury Cathedral and other stakeholders, totalling £25million.

The Canterbury Journey is improving access to the cathedral, its heritage and hidden collections through a programme of learning, interpretation and participation activities.  A new visitor centre, viewing gallery, community studio and exhibitions will be opening early next summer and autumn.

Jan Leandro, Head of Learning and Participation, said: “The residency was made possible by The Canterbury Journey and Dawn is the first artist in residence at Canterbury Cathedral.  We recognise that creative practitioners bring a fresh perspective to interpreting heritage and historic collections which helps us engage with new audiences.”

Dawn said: “ My work develops from extensive research; using a mixture of fact and fiction to re-interpret information and uncover and create stories.

“I have a particular interest in working with archives and am known for work exploring stories from the First World War. I specialise in printmaking and use traditional and contemporary techniques in my work.”

Dawn’s work has been included in exhibitions in the UK, Ireland, France, Portugal, Japan and the USA and is held in public collections at the V&A London and Scarborough Museum Print Collection.

Remember Me?! Can be seen at the cathedral daily 10am-4pm from now until November 13 apart from November 3-9 when the cathedral is closed.

Cathedral charges apply.

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