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Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Thread and Word - A Walk with Shrines. 

Ofrendas responding to The Hoarder by Jess Kidd

Taking time to reflect with Virginia Fitch 


Images of Ofrendas (offerings ) made by Virginia Fitch with some words as she reflects on the process.


"Although I enjoyed the process and the walk – it was nevertheless a challenge for me to produce my ofrendas.  It gave me a tiny glimpse into what an artist goes through creating art.  Finding the initial idea, the ruminating about it, putting off doing anything, finally physically making it – the rush to create it to the exclusion of all else, and showing it to others.  These were new experiences for me.  And has of course left me wanting to do more – particularly through the medium of walking."

                                            (Virginia Fitch)






Some thoughts on the book  " The Hoarder' by Jess Kidd ,  written by Virginia:

"It is a novel about loss and grief.  It is also a novel about self-discovery brought about by caring and looking after someone else.  
This is the self-discovery I felt after caring for my mother and after finally losing her – I realised I understood more about myself, and my own weaknesses and strengths."

 ( Virginia Fitch)










Sonia Overall and Virginia Fitch in conversation - 'Ofrendas' 

With thanks to Anastasia Miller for photography and Virginia Fitch for words and photographs of her Ofrendas.


A link below. to the video with footage of processional walking and of offerings created to form a liturgy to four books by four authors at The Autumn Bookie in Margate.








Monday, 15 October 2018


Thread and Word - A Walk with Shrines.

A film with footage of processional walking and of offerings created to form a liturgy to four books by four authors at The Autumn Bookie in Margate.


 An introduction by Andreas Loizou , founder and director of The Margate Bookie

The Margate Bookie is all about breaking down the barrier between authors and readers. 
The ofrendas give a very personal insight into the writing process – touch the Ramones T-Shirt Jess Kidd wore when writing her first draft, hear the songs that motivated PJ Whiteley when the going got tough. It’s great that writers with the profile and talent of Elise Valmorbida and Owen Lowery immediately said yes when I first told them about the Margate ofrendas. 
Writers want to know they’re being read. It’s such a lift when someone tells you I really love your book. But Elspeth and her collaborators take this spirit to a higher level. Stop for a second and try to imagine how you would feel if someone made a shrine to your book. I can’t imagine a purer expression of gratitude.
May there be many more walks and shrines – and pilgrims! – at future Bookies.

Thanks to: 
 Anna Bowman (film maker) , Anastasia Miller (Photography) 
authors:  Owen Lowery, Jess Kidd, Elise Valmorbida and Philip Whitely

artists and makers: Elaina Arkeool. Maggy Rodd, Deb Jackson , Sharon Rowe, Sonia Overall, Laura Sawyer, Sara Trillo , Virginia Fitch, Diana Lane, Elspeth Penfold

and all who came and walked with us !



A WALK WITH SHRINES by Thread and Word from Anna Bowman on Vimeo.





Thursday, 4 October 2018



In The Winter Gardens, Margate
A Walk with Shrines

'The Hoarder'
by Jess Kidd

Here a final blog on our authors. Last but by no means the least, we responded with offerings to Jess Kidd's  book  published in America as, 'Mr Flood's Last Resort, and in the UK as 'The Hoarder'.

Here is a sample of Ofrendas which were made by artists/makers to be placed at the shrine to Jess Kidd's book.

Maggy Rodd's Journal quilt hoard of buttons and scraps
Elaina Arkeool - Mr Flood as Bluebeard, a bra, copper wire and beard clippings in an extraordinary box, fit for a crime scene!
A Hoard by Sonia Overall, a collection of train and bus tickets over the course of a week in a match box
Sara Trillo an offering of flowers on found ropes in the form of a vase

Virginia Fitch's hoard.

Here some words by Virginia:

'If I was making this offering to a religious shrine – I would first genuflect –
make the sign of the cross –
 and then say a Hail Mary (my go-to prayer to help me focus).
And then present each of my offerings
 – my ofrenda
1.Small copy of Hail Mary prayer.

2. A Small battery-operated statuette of the blessed
 Virgin Mary that illuminates in
    many-hued fluorescent colours!

3. A handmade hanging plaque icon of the Madonna and child 
made out of gold-coloured material
 embellished with multi-coloured and multi-shaped decoration
 – a gift to me from my children. 

4.Pack of Brillo cleaning pads.  One of the early images in 
the book is the vast gothic untidy unkempt
 house of a Hoarder, which has not been cleared in 25 years. 
Maud needed to steel herself with lots of cleaning products.  
I kind of had more of an image of an Andy Warhol box
 but you can’t get those anymore. 

5.Photo of a group of cats – some in poor health.  
There are many cats in Bridlemere, 
Cathal Flood’s mansion of a house.  
I think this group of cats photographed on “Cat Island” in Japan – 
gives a feel for a bunch of near feral cats inhabiting the house, 
all keeping an eye on Maud
 as she goes about her work in the house.

6.Photo of a National Geographic magazine; 
a photo of a Middle Eastern girl 
reminiscent of the Virgin Mary. 
Another early image in the book
 and later referred to
 is the wall made up of hundreds copies
 of National Geographic magazines.This is an unforgettable image. 

7.A photocopy of a collage which I put together
 showing many images of St Dymphna – 
a saint closely associated with Ireland – 
Patron of those with Stress, Anxiety and Mental Health.  
The centre prayer card says in the bottom right hand corner 
This piece of cloth has been touched
 to her relics.  In this collage there are medals, candles, icons, Medieval, statues
 dedicated to this saint who appears frequently 
to Maud Drennan, the protagonist in the book
 along with many other saints who have a strangely contemporary side to them,
 ie smoking a cigarette for instance.  
St Dymphna being the patron saint for Mental Health is appropriate as Hoarding has
 only recently been acknowledged as a MH issue, and treatment is now offered.
************************
I enjoyed this book very much – I found many personal parallels in it.'


Our chosen site in the Winter Gardens 

A Walk with Shrines was part of Margate Festival 2018:Now, 

which was funded by Turner Contemporary, 

Dreamland and Kent County Council.



Here the video of the Ofrendas with  explanations by the artists,
 with thanks to Anna Bowman.
This film was made with the support of Arts Council England





A WALK WITH SHRINES from Anna Bowman on Vimeo.


A Review by Jess Kidd


"I love your introduction Andreas and your reference to
 Orwell and his blazing determination to keep
communicating truthfully. 
The Bookie feels like such a celebration of words 
and art and a bringing together of people.
 And that fundamental idea that art is made by
 both the reader and the author, the viewer and 
the artist, that ultimately it's collaborative. 

When I was small I loved the shrines in Ireland
 (which my family irreverently called 'Roadside Marys'!).
 Holy wells also held a deep fascination for me,
 not just for the legends associated with them, 
but also because of the objects people had left behind.
 I felt each one told its own story, about the ritual of it, 
but also their wishes and intentions. 

Virginia and Billie's readings, Maggy's quilt and 
Sonia's bus tickets I found really touching.
 Sometimes you lose touch with why you write
 in the anxieties of the whole editing process. 
And for me the fundamental reason
 is to connect with people and tell a story.
 I love the way that art can tell that story
 in so many different ways.

Thank you for picking The Hoarder to
 be part of the project
 and a very special festival. 

All best wishes,

Jess  "



Wednesday, 3 October 2018



A Walk with Shrines

A photo Diary of Ofrendas made by artists/makers for 

'Madonna of the Mountains' by Elise Valmorbida


 Photography by Anastasia Miller
Work in progress Sharon Rowe
The work made by Sharon Rowe was completed and is included in  the film made of the event on the day.

Please see the link to the film at the bottom of the page.

Maggy Rodd's journal quilt using shopping receipts













Milagros, Sonia Overall
Using our eyes and our legs as we walk to set up our
Shrines. 
The site
Deb Jacksons small folded book of 16 panels.

Sara Trillo ,' the bone' as noted by Elise Valmorbida





With thanks to Elise Valmorbida for supporting.




A Walk with Shrines was part of Margate Festival 2018:Now, which was funded by Turner Contemporary, Dreamland and Kent County Council.








Here video of the Ofrendas and explanations by the artists, with thanks to Anna Bowman, made with the support of Arts Council England



A WALK WITH SHRINES from Anna Bowman on Vimeo.



Tuesday, 2 October 2018

 photography, with thanks, Anastasia Miller


A Walk with Shrines with The Margate Bookie



A Walk with Shrines was part of Margate Festival 2018:Now, which was funded by Turner Contemporary, Dreamland and Kent County Council.

'Ofrendas' made by artists/ makers for "Marching on Together" by PJ Whiteley

A walk in the shape of a Labyrinth by Sonia Overall at Trinity Square War Memorial


abstract painting , 16 panels making a whole Deb Jackson
Deb Jackson

A shirt donated by PJ Whiteley printed by Elspeth Penfold
A bell part of our liturgy by Sonia Overall
Sara Trillo ,2 flowers , 2 pages as in a book

A journal quilt by Maggy Rodd
with thanks to PJ Whiteley for walking with us
 A link to our film where artists and makers describe their 'Ofrendas' with thanks to Anna Bowman made with the support of Arts Council England  





A WALK WITH SHRINES from Anna Bowman on Vimeo.






Monday, 1 October 2018

A Walk with Shrines - Owen Lowery, Transitions Poetry


Here images of four 'Ofrendas' made by artists/makers/authors in response to #OWLOWERY 's Transitions Poetry Margate Bookie.

Our film 'Ofrendas' made with support from  Arts Council England,  to be posted on vimeo shortly with explanations of the work and the artists thoughts . 
Maggy Rodd, Brailed a verse


Laura Sawyer , a focus on the breath.

A Walk with Shrines was part of Margate Festival 2018:Now, which was funded by Turner Contemporary, Dreamland and Kent County Council .
Still photography by Anastasia Miller


Sonia Overall assisting those who assist......




 Looking at the shrines as it is assembled.






The site for our shrine
Items sent by Owen to support the ideas behind our shrine.





 Exploring the relationship between #walking#weaving and #writing through #ThreadandWord.


 For more about  Owen Lowery Transitions