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  "

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