Art exhibition lights up church

Heckington parish church hosting a special exhibition. L-R Chris Cullen, Becky Carr, John Bowers and Tim Shaw with Plain Changes exhibit. EMN-170105-141936001
Heckington parish church hosting a special exhibition. L-R Chris Cullen, Becky Carr, John Bowers and Tim Shaw with Plain Changes exhibit. EMN-170105-141936001

A collection of artworks and performances using digital technology have brought historic St Andrew’s Church in Heckington to life.

On Saturday visitors experienced ‘Illuminations’ - a series of art installations and performances looking at the medieval church’s past, its architecture, and its relationship to local life.

Heckington parish church hosting a special exhibition. Linda Hayes of Heckington looking at Heckington Gargoyles projections. EMN-170105-141912001

Heckington parish church hosting a special exhibition. Linda Hayes of Heckington looking at Heckington Gargoyles projections. EMN-170105-141912001

During the day there was a free exhibition of several interactive artworks inviting visitors to experience the church in intriguing new ways. The evening saw performances - also free - of medieval plainsong and sound explorations accompanied by visual projections.

Simon Bowen, a researcher at Open Lab, Newcastle University’s research centre into human-computer interaction, said: “St Andrew’s Church is a fascinating building – visually, acoustically, and historically. We have tried to create artworks that encourage people to explore all these aspects and discover new things about this place and its role in everyday life.”

The Heckington community have been involved in creating content for the exhibition and activities that will follow it.

Several of the artworks will remain in place as an ongoing attraction.

Heckington parish church hosting a special exhibition. Paul Canning showing Marilyn Scholefield his vitual reality goggles. EMN-170105-142021001

Heckington parish church hosting a special exhibition. Paul Canning showing Marilyn Scholefield his vitual reality goggles. EMN-170105-142021001

Pete Banks, engagement team leader at St Andrew’s said: “This has opened our eyes to the possibilities of developing the amazing attractions of St Andrew’s and delivering them in a way that we had never considered.”

He saw it as a way of demonstrating to younger people the building has a wide range of uses and is a place for everyone in the community.

Simon, along with other researchers at Newcastle University, including Magnus Williamson, John Bowers and Tim Shaw, have been working on the project with Draw & Code, a Liverpool-based digital design company, and Allan T Adams, an architectural illustrator.