Olivia Keith

Olivia’s MA project, Bringing Home The Cuerden Psalter, explored both the cyclical aspect of a year of Lancashire countryside but also an intimate linear journey. The perpetual cycle of the year, a universally familiar, collective experience, is shared across the centuries and yet the ‘today’ of our diaries is uniquely personal.

The twelve ‘labours of the months’ depicted on the calendar pages of the Cuerden Psalter, a thirteenth century book of psalms, were the lens through which the endeavour was focussed. Each month a project was generated by the Psalter’s roundel for that month and involved researching the image in its medieval context, making a personal contemporary interrogation of it, engaging with local people and experimenting with natural materials. At the end of the month a ‘husk’ was selected, a physical trace that holds memories of that month’s journey – each composed of things gifted or gleaned.

The installation Tableau brought together the twelve ‘husks’. Although presented as a still life it is in a constant state of flux – of decay and growth. The husks are drawn to the supper table, where the viewer, as emancipated spectator, is invited to join their conversations.

Years of study 2016 – 2018


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