In the Spirit of Place is an exhibition by artists who live in or near Merton as a direct response to the special atmosphere of the Church of St Mary the Virgin. Nineteen artists working in wide range of media – ceramics, painting, photography, glass, metal, paper, prints, words – have created contemporary artwork specifically made for this event celebrating the 900th anniversary of the Church’s foundation and its continuing presence at the heart of the active parish of Merton Park. There was no imposed brief to create work of a religious or spiritual nature, but all participating artists have responded to the contemplative atmosphere of the serene spaces both in the church and the churchyard beyond. Rafael Atencia’s (LSDC) creation is a sculpture of porcelain fishes suspended over the font.
Sandy Layton’s (MSDC) porcelain swallows represent the departed souls in flight. Fay de Winter (MSDC) has created an installation of nine light vessels and a collection of decorated wishing leaves. There will be a private view for congregation and artists in the church on Saturday 19 September, but it is hoped that many more visitors will be curious to see how old and new, abstract thought and material craft have been brought together in this beautiful building to celebrate the significance of both Spirit and Place.