Radical ESSEX




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Current Past




New Noveta with Sophie Sleigh-Johnson

Focal Point Gallery is delighted to host Cealdwiellla, an intensive research project and expedition into the futures and pasts of the ancient Running Well in Runwell, Essex, by New Noveta – Ellen Freed and Keira Fox – in collaboration with Sophie Sleigh-Johnson. Presented as part of the Radical ESSEX programme, the work is a new iteration on Essex soil of the original that took place last April at Arcadia Missa, London.

The live invocation, which is the result of numerous recordings of and pilgrimages to the well and divinations of its essence, features an original soundtrack and room mix by Vindicatrix aka musician David Aird; costumes by Gabriella Massey of the fashion house Atelier Bâba; and a live radio transmission from the Running Well itself into the gallery. The performance centers around a well, a water-filled steel structure in the room, the design of which reflects the arcane cross symbol of the Prioress, the head of a religious house of women that resided at the mystery site in the twelfth century.

Sleigh-Johnson enacts the role of the channeller, the well guardian, decoding the well’s signal with the prioress’ staff as attuner, whilst New Noveta embody the well’s spirit, using live vocalisation and props that reflect the well’s history of healing and regeneration. A new iteration of coordinates is re-written over the revived site, refolding into the dust of the earth.

c2c have kindly provided half price return train tickets for travel between London Fenchurch Street and Southend Central for this event. Book your train ticket here. 

This event is free and all are welcome. Focal Point Gallery is mobility accessible. If you have any specific access requirements please do not hesitate to contact the gallery to discuss how we can meet your needs.

Focal Point Gallery, Elmer Avenue, Southend-on-Sea, United Kingdom
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Radical Essex is a project re-examining the county in relation to radicalism in thought, lifestyle, politics and architecture. A programme of events will take place across Essex throughout 2016 and 2017, shedding light on the vibrant, pioneering thinking of the late 19th and 20th centuries. The project will celebrate the crucial role Essex has played in the history of British Modernism and its utopian ideologies under the themes ‘The Modernist County’ and ‘Arcadia for All’.

The Radical Essex site is designed by Fraser Muggeridge studio and Alex Rich, developed by Twelve.

Radical Essex is led by Focal Point Gallery in collaboration with Visit Essex and Firstsite. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England it forms part of the country wide Cultural Destinations programme, a partnership with VisitEngland, supporting arts organisations to work with the tourism sector to deliver projects that maximise the impact culture has on local economies.

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If you are a business or arts organisation interested to be involved in the project or learn more information, please contact us here

We gratefully acknowledge the support of our project partners: