Gathering Light is an installation that reflects my experience of grief. I created this work after losing my wonderful father in 2021. One thing that has helped me traverse the path of grief has been watching the ever-changing skies from my home in Margate and the Moon above at night time. Walking along the cliff top and seeing the different birds and insects moving from one flower to another and the sun rising in the morning and setting in the evening, helped me to process the enormity of our family’s loss. The constant to and fro of the tides has given an earthly framework to my thinking.
How does the Earth keep spinning
Seeing the sky out of my window has helped me to connect my reality to that of Earth, and our cosmic history. It helped me to think of other days, other nights. Other skies we have all looked up at, other possibilities. Other moments and other shared memories.
Gathering Light was created by taking photographs of the sky, usually just after sunrise, over 40 consecutive days to reflect the 40 days of contemplation of Lent. During this time I kept a diary of thoughts on how I was processing my own feelings. A participatory element will also be included in St Katherine’s Chapel.
Gathering Light has been produced as a new co-commission between Derby Cathedral and FORMAT International Photography Festival. The partnership sought artist project proposals with a focus on photography and lens-based media, taking inspiration from the Christian observance and celebrations that commemorate Lent. Artists were asked to consider themes such as spirituality, sacrifice, release, isolation and rising/ rebirth. This site-specific commission also invited artists to explore how their work sits within the cathedral’s architecture and daily activity. As a Grade 1 listed building and one of Derby’s oldest buildings, it’s a place of historic significance, a lively place of worship, and a place of musical and cultural excellence.