Friday, April 1, 2016

Press release no.1, with Micah Purnell's artwork...

...feel free to download and use it :-)


(Leeds – 31st March 2016 – for immediate release)  

Artists from across the UK and beyond are joining with St Edmunds Church, Roundhay in May 2016 for a unique exhibition celebrating the centenary of Sir Hubert Parry’s much-loved anthem, ‘Blake’s Jerusalem’.

The exhibition, entitled ‘And Did Those Feet’, will feature work from a range of creatives -including renowned French-Canadian comic book artist Guy Delisle, Birmingham-based painter Eddy Aigbe and Bradford’s Eva Mileusnic - alongside text-based prints made by local schoolchildren. The show will include sculpture, painting, and drawing, and will explore some of the themes raised by William Blake’s utopian vision as well as the song’s fascinating history.

Exhibition curator Si Smith is excited by the exhibition’s theme:

Written one hundred years ago in 1916 as a patriotic anthem to boost flagging morale during WWI Hubert Parry’s musical adaptation of Blake’s poem is a song with a fascinating history, full of intriguing contradictions…

It has been sung at conference by both the Labour and Conservative Parties; before rugby league internationals and at royal weddings; by Billy Bragg and on the Last Night of the Proms. At one point the rights to the song were given to the Suffrage movement (later passing on to the Women’s Institute) and there have been campaigns to have it officially recognized as a national anthem for England. And so we're hoping to source work that plays with notions of Englishness, and of nationhood.

And, of course, William Blake’s original text is intriguing - full of allegorical language and visions of fiery chariots and dark satanic mills, it suggests the apocryphal tale of the young Christ’s visit to Glastonbury, and is ultimately an exhortation to artists and young people to see England reimagined and rebuilt as a kind of Heaven-on-Earth.

It’s pretty powerful stuff, and I’m hoping that our exhibition can do justice to the source material…

The Exhibition will run from 30th April to 24th May 2016 at St Edmunds Church, Lidgett Park Road, Roundhay LS8 1JN, and will include workshops and artists’ Q&A sessions [dates and times tbc]

The exhibition will be curated by Leeds-based artist and illustrator Si Smith.

Si has previously exhibited and curated work in St. Edmund’s church. He has also curated shows and events at the Left Bank venue in Burley and the Greenbelt festival.

Issued by ‘And Did Those Feet’

For more information, contact Si Smith
07833 308971

Additional information about the exhibition, plus the text of this press release, is available at

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