Friday, April 27, 2012

Delftware tile - The Bells of Shoreditch

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.

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