The film ‘Some Thoughts on Masonry and Its Degrees’ was conceived as an exploration and evocation of the arcane, yet poetic language that surrounds Masonry. It is part of a larger long-term artistic research project titled ‘Photographs from Another Place’ in response to a rediscovered 1920s photographic family archive purchased from Ebay on a whim.
The principle character portrayed in the film, is the photographer of this archive, Sydney J Gearing, and my research has reawakened aspects of his significant masonic career on the Wirral, in turn unearthing an address he gave to the long since defunct Merseyside Masonic Research Society in 1954, when he held the chair as president.
‘Some Thoughts on Masonry and Its Degrees’ is that oration, performed by current Grand Master, Worshipful Brother Ian Dallinger, in the same Masonic Hall where Sydney Gearing was initiated, in 1934. Dallinger delivers a lyrically mysterious and quietly hypnotic oration on the benefits of the extended ‘symbolic degrees’ of freemasonry that can be obtained, once the degree of Master Mason is achieved.
Exhibition Announcement: After my four year research project around a rediscovered family photographic archive, the results will be exhibited at The Williamson Art Gallery and Museum on the Wirral this coming December and January of 2020, it will then tour to Norwich Cathedral. The Williamson was a gallery that the original photographer Sydney J Gearing visited and I’m really delighted to be taking his and my work back to its spiritual home. Thanks to an Arts Council National Lottery Project Grant, I will now be undertaking a phase of local engagement with groups who are touched by content from the collection and project, this will result in a parallel exhibition of outcomes. I will also be completing a collaboration with renowned author and poet George Szirtes, which will investigate the project as a companion text piece. Along with the financial assistance of Arts Council England, The Elephant Trust have also supported a specific aspect of the engagement which will culminate in a limited edition artwork.
SAVE THE DATE: EXHIBITION PREVIEW 6 DECEMBER 6PM – 8PM | WILLIAMSON ART GALLERY AND MUSEUM
Also I’m equally delighted to confirm that Dewi Lewis will be publishing and distributing the book of the project. More details to follow shortly.