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The Collection, Lincoln
15 Sep 07 16 Dec 07

Sainsbury Centre
for Visual Arts

30 Jan 24 Jun 07

Norwich Castle
Museum & Art Gallery

3 Feb 15 Apr 07

Film and Video Umbrella

Arts Council
Simon Pope

The east stands for lost causes, Sebald wrote in The Rings of Saturn, and of those things lost, to which he refers, perhaps the greatest is the vast expanse of woodland which grew upon the flatlands of East Anglia before being destroyed by settlers and avaricious landowners. Often, such woodland now exists only in the art of the region, most especially the paintings of the Norwich School, the first provincial art movement in Britain, and the inspiration behind Simon Pope’s The Memorial Walks (2007). In this project, an invited participant chooses a painting, from either the Norwich or the Lincoln collections, that portrays trees or woodland in particular, and then memorises it; they must then walk to a location of Pope’s choosing – generally within striking distance of the gallery – before then describing the picture from memory, a process of recollection which is recorded on tape and photographed. The process is repeated for each painting.

The paintings themselves are hung within the gallery, although most are draped with black silk, reminiscent of the ancient Dutch ritual practised in homes in which there had been a death, whereby landscape paintings and mirrors were draped with mourning ribbons in order that the departing soul would not become distracted upon its final journey. At regular intervals during the exhibition, a different painting will be unveiled, and its recalled description made available (as an audio file) on the Waterlog website; the other paintings are left to reside in our memories, or our imaginations.
The Memorial Walks
(after John Berney Ladbrooke/The Great Oak)

The Memorial Walks (Lincoln)
The Memorial Walks (Norwich)