Artist creates shrine to goddess of memory in Tunbridge Wells
Artist Athena Jane Churchill announces her new show at the Gallery at Trinity in Tunbridge Wells – 'Re:remembering – An Offering to Mnemosyne'.
By: Athena Jane Churchill
This new project represents a journey into the labyrinth of memory. It is Athena Jane's next big project and will grow over several years – having started in Seaford last year.
The installation opens on Weds 22nd May (Opening view the evening before) and can be visited until Saturday June 1st 2019. Mnemosyne, one of the oldest goddesses in Greek mythology, was best known for having given birth to the nine muses - goddesses of the arts. But who is she? Exploring traces of her memory, the exhibition is an offering to her by an artist who loves working with Trinity Gallery.
Athena Jane creates installations and imaginary worlds, bringing together strands of her work in theatre set design, visual art installation, making and curating. Her work invites viewers to step into a world between the real and the imagined and journey within. Inspired by and exploring the relationship between museum collection, archive and created artefacts, her work reflects her fascination with traces of memory in heritage objects, myths and ancient devotional sites.
Athena Jane, who lives in Sussex, has worked as an artist for many years in Tunbridge Wells, working with communities, schools, individuals and organisations in the area to create many community art projects and workshops including hundreds of projects with Town and Country Foundation with whom she has worked for over ten years. Many of those artworks have been exhibited in the gallery at Trinity, as well as her own art and installations. She has also created many of the flagship large lanterns in each of the Winter Lantern Parades for the last 10 years. Athena Jane also programmed Trinity's Gallery for six years - a role she loved as it enabled many artists and groups to exhibit and inspire the town.
Athena Jane explains: "I have been imagining for a long time, creating a Labyrinth - a trail of chambers full of art based on the traces of ancient memories. Over the coming months and years I will continue to expand the project, growing the artworks and, as it unfolds, exhibiting until I have built the entire vision of a labyrinth to the goddess of Memory. I love creating and I envisage the final installation will have many chambers full of art that people will be able to journey within. This exhibition is part of that journey and near the start of a long process for me - an initial exploration of making art in a variety of different 2 and 3D media inspired by shrines, museum fragments and idea of collections, memory and myth."
Jocelyn Cheek, Front of House and Visual Arts Manager for Trinity, added: "We are so excited to be working with Jane on this stage in the journey of Re:remembering. Jane is a hugely valuable influence in the town for her varied and extensive community art work, and we are thrilled to welcome her back to Trinity. This will be a chance for Trinity Gallery visitors to be immersed in new ideas, artworks and artefacts. The exhibition promises to be a unique and affecting experience."
Athena Jane's first Mnemosyne exhibition Seaford received fantastic reviews and moved several visitors to tears. Comments included: "Amazing. The story of the model ship was very moving," "An exhibition that will stay in my memory for a long time," "Wonderful, moving, a great mystical experience," "brilliant, haunting and beautiful exhibition".
Her last project, 'Degrees of Separation', which was exhibited in Trinity in 2014 spanned seven years of artwork, culminated in a huge project with young people across the Capital City and final exhibition 'Echoes Across the Century' at the Guildhall Art Gallery in London in 2017.
Opening times vary: Opening Viewing Tuesday 21st May 5-7.30pm then open until Saturday June 1st- times vary. Mondays 10am-5pm. Tuesday to Friday 10am-8pm. Saturday 10am-3pm and Sunday open one hour before performances. Check Trinity Website for details of the Sunday programme. Address: Trinity Gallery, Trinity Theatre, Church Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 1JP
Athena Jane will be giving an Artist Talk about her project on Friday 31st May 6-7pm. Tickets £5 limited availability. Please book here (https://www.trinitytheatre.net/
Note to editors: Athena Jane is available to interview. Please let us know if you would like to visit the installation. Contact Suzi Christie on 07590 591140 or e-mail suzi@blueberry-