01: Lucy Newman Cleeve


Station 1


Video and sound, duration 1:13

Clint Mansell & Kronos Quartet, The Beginning of the End (Winter) from Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Peter Greenaway, The Falls (1980)


In 2016, I was invited to speak at Jesus College Chapel, Cambridge as part of a Lent series called Picturing Resurrection. I was asked to consider a resurrection appearance, using a work of art as a focal point, and decided to speak about a work of art that did not yet exist – or at least, only existed as a digital file. This approach seemed particularly appropriate to the eschatological tension inherent in the season of Lent and the theological reality of resurrection life that is both realised and not yet realised. The work was Here Comes the Sony (Stations of the Resurrection) by Mark Dean, imagined alongside a dance work by Lizzi Kew Ross & Co.

Fast-forward to Easter 2017 and Stations of the Resurrection was installed and performed under the dome at St. Paul’s Cathedral. By now, the project had expanded to include Stations of the Cross at St. Stephen Walbrook. These events were a collaboration between Mark as artist, Lizzi as choreographer, and myself as curator/writer. I spent several months immersed in Mark’s Stations and Lizzi’s dance, developing a commentary on the work.

Then, in 2018, I gave a paper reflecting on Stations of Cross and Stations of the Resurrection at a Visual Theology conference at Chichester Cathedral. That paper later became a book chapter, shortly to be published by Routledge in Transforming Christian Thought in the Visual Arts – Theology, Aesthetics, and Practice.

On 23rd March 2020, the UK was put into lockdown in response to the growing threat of Covid-19. In the two weeks following, during the remaining period of Lent, Stations of the Cross and Stations of the Resurrection were reimagined as Open Stations 2020 and published by Arts Chaplaincy Projects on Good Friday. It combined Mark’s original video Stations, including a new 15th Station with dancers from Lizzi Kew Ross & Co rehearsing Stations of the Resurrection, with a virtual Paschal candle by Phil Baines and readings recorded remotely on Maundy Thursday via Zoom. I updated my original commentary on the work to accompany each Station.

In February 2021, I was invited to respond to Stations 2021, a reflective project for Lent, leading to an online exhibition for Easter. Mark and Lizzi’s imagery have occupied my imagination for much of the preceding 5 years and so it was inevitable they would have a propositional effect on my choice of format. Making my own set of Stations using appropriated images and sound felt as much a response to our previous collaboration as to the Easter Story. It was also a pragmatic response to making work during lockdown. Taking a tour of my mental film and music archive allowed me to travel much further and to access a broader range of imagery than I could have created at source within the confines of home and the school run.

My response is also informed by 45 years’ worth of church attendance, participation in the Easter liturgy, theological study and reflection and by a continually evolving faith. Each of these continue to work on my imagination and build up a patina of meaning. And the images and sounds I have selected also bring with them a multitude of associations – some personal and private, others public.

Each decision – about what to include or exclude, which part of the story to preference, which character to identify with, which visual metaphor or trope to choose – has been a critical exercise and a prayer. I have tried to make decisions that feel true, aware that I am often teetering between sentimentality, banality, gratuitousness and cliché. I have had to ask myself: is this what I think and feel and believe, or am I parroting received orthodoxy? What right do I have to appropriate this image or story? Does a particular image or juxtaposition merely illustrate, or does it illuminate? This has been my Lenten meditation.

Some of the resulting Stations feel more ‘right’ than others. Even as I write this, I am wondering whether to change some. I will go through a further period of reflecting on them. And I suspect that I will want to make a new set of Stations next year, and the year after that – to find new ways of entering into a story that never grows old.

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