Open Sanctuary exhibition, workshop and talkBook now
Thursday 26 May 2002
West Downs Gallery and auditorium, West Downs Centre, Romsey Road, Winchester, SO22 5FT
'Open Sanctuary' is a sculpture made from hundreds of individual ceramic balls which, when completed, will form a circular space for visitors to sit quietly and meditate on what 'searching for sanctuary' means for them.
In a series of workshops led by artists Fiamma Colonna Montagu and Sam Selwyn Bazeley, participants will be guided through a meditation whilst creating a ceramic ball using natural clays. After firing, each ball will be slotted onto a large circular armature to slowly build the sculpture, until the work is complete.
Each workshop will last for around two hours, beginning with an introduction to the concept of the sculpture, and to the ideas of the Buddhist monk Thik Nhat Hahn about how mindfulness can provide a way to find a sanctury. You will then go on to roll balls in different clays and mark them using individual markers with words that represent peace, safety and the idea of 'coming home'. You will likely have time to make multiple balls during the workshop, and these will be taken off site after the workshop to be fired. The artists will bring them back to the gallery to add to the armature of the sculpture after firing, and thus the Open Sanctuary will grow as the workshops take place.
Following on from the workshop we are delighted to be joined by Professor Mark Owen, Director of the Centre for Religion, Reconciliation and Peace. He will talk to the artists about the idea of sanctuary, and in particular the Buddhist monk Thik Nhat Hahn (himself a long time exile from his birth counrty of Vietnam) who talked about the use of acts of mindfulness to create a new 'home' or 'sanctuary' outside of one's physical home.
Winchester is one of 14 UK Cities of Sanctuary who have stated their aim to act as beacons of welcome and safety to those coming across borders to find peace. The University was named a University of Sanctuary in 2018 in recognition of its initiatives to welcome refugees and asylum seekers and support them in higher education study.
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