Friday, April 27, 2012
Delftware tile - The Bells of Shoreditch
One of the many new 'Delft' tiles (actually paintings on panel and not ceramic!) I have created for my Umbra Sumus (We Are But Shadows) solo show opening tonight and running for this week-end only (April 27 - 29 inclusive) in Spitalfields.
This tile depicts St Leonard's church in Shoreditch, known to most British children from the nursery rhyme 'Oranges and Lemons' (which I did a screenprint of, a very few copies left!) as the London bell that says "When I grow Rich", apparently a reference to wishful thinking amongst the area's endemic poor (O! How things have changed!).
The present-day St Leonard's, a fine example of English Baroque (and setting for the TV series 'Rev'), replaces a medieval edifice of the same name and its original crypt still remains below its 18th century successor. The Curtain theatre, after which Curtain rd gets its name, was a short walk away, and the site has many connections to Shakespeare and the actors of his day. Henry VIII's jester, Will Somers, is buried somewhere in the bone-yard.
Before that stood a Roman temple to Diana and before that the area was without doubt associated with Pagan worship as the site is also the location of the well-spring source of the River Walbrook which ran through the City.