Lottie Stoddart (DY 2015) has a solo exhibition coming up at Westminster Abbey. Last year Lottie was granted special access to draw in the abbey and will be exhibiting the drawings and paintings she made there. Lottie first became interested in Westminster Abbey as a subject for investigation through visiting it on the William Blake course with Mark Cazalet. She says: 'Being able to repeatedly revisit has enabled me to get to know this, initially, very overwhelming building and create work that reflects my experience of the juxtaposing periods and centuries of re-workings.' Alumni are warmly invited to the Private View on 9 February 6 - 7,30pm. Address: St Margaret St, Westminster, London SW1P 3JX. The exhibition will be open 10-16 February. More info here. A set of cards is also on sale in the Abbey Shop.
Drawing at Westminster Abbey
Over the course of 2016 I was given the wonderful opportunity to spend an intensive period drawing inside Westminster Abbey. My first visit, following in the footsteps of William Blake, was with the Royal Drawing School, and formed the idea of returning and engaging with the Abbey's interior for a longer period.
My work investigates spaces that evoke the sacred. My previous works on this theme have included London graveyards, ancient woodlands and most recently tree veneration in India. Many evocations of Westminster abbey concentrate on the monumental, but I have sought out the personal and intimate where visual juxtapositions have occurred through time, architectural style and changing use. The Abbey's central shrine and surrounding chapels have made me consider how sacred spaces are glimpsed, hidden and revealed which was essential to creating the accompanying drawing to this articleTowards the Shrine.
Colour is very important in my work and I have used specific combinations to act like musical chords playing over the Abbey. Alongside a carefully restricted colour palette, both drawings and paintings are simplified or slightly abstracted in a conversation between the subject and my own internal narratives. Visiting the Abbey over such a long period; several days per months over the year, has strengthened my connection and relationship to this sacred space, and I hope the viewer can share my experience.
I am deeply indebted to Scott Craddock for coordinating my visits to the Abbey and I would like to thank all those at the Abbey and St. Margaret's who have enabled this project and my first solo exhibition.