This piece is from a window I was invited to make make work for in Nunhead Arts Week 2009.
Five artists have been invited to make work for the windows of local shops along the main road in Nunhead. Part of the Nunhead Arts Week 2009. This project has been kindly supported by Nunhead and Peckham Rye Community Council.
My shop window is at Mummy J Fashions is titled “Mummy Superior”
I was fascinated the fable of the nun who was beheaded on Nunhead Green in the reformation of the monasteries in the 16th century. Although there is no evidence to support the story of the beheaded nun the story is part of folklore.
The shop I am working with for Nunhead Arts Festval sells Hollandais fabric, which is very popular in West Africa. The fabric designs on this cloth were often developed to focus on the visualisation of proverbs and folklore.
For the window I have designed my own pattern inspired both by the patterns on the Hollandais cloth and the legend of the nun beheaded on the green.
Having lived opposite a nunnery as a child although not being brought up Catholic, I viewed the nuns from a distance. I always thought that they looked very stylish in their simple white and black robes. On the rare occasions I saw them on an outing they always seemed to be otherworldly beings, gliding along they were serene yet disconcerting in their otherness. I have painted small images of nun like girls wearing black and white dresses and photographed them around the green. They are my own versions of the Cottingley Fairies, phantoms from a possibly imagined story.