‘The Gates of Paradise’ by Jeni McConnell and Hannah Allen


The Gates of Paradise was a research project, which connected Preston with other locations around the world. The project centred on the Gates of Paradise, which are housed in the Harris Museum & Art Gallery and are one of eighteen cast copies of the original doors, made for the Baptistery in Florence.

Collaborative Space was a creative partnership led by Jeni McConnell and Hannah Elizabeth Allan. Their project reflected upon the relationship between Preston and Florence, transposing and navigating one space through another, exploring the dialogue of light, sound and sensation between the two locations. An audio piece, using recordings made around the Gates and Duomo Square in Florence, was played once a day during the week of the 2012 Preston Guild. This was accompanied by two live performances, in which the artists evoked the sights, sounds and tastes of Florence within the Harris Museum’s rotunda. Audiences were encouraged to think differently about Preston: to reassess how they understand and negotiate their experiences in the city, and reflect on visiting another place.

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