For Advent this year we will have an art installation to help us explore the theme of the season. Access by Robert Cervera, will be in the Church from 6 December until mid-January 2014 to correspond to the seasons of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. Responding to the surrounding architecture, the work will take over one aisle of the church and explore the perceptions of spiritual transcendence and immanence in the space.
You will be able to see the work forming in the space from 9am to 6pm from Monday to Friday and during services at weekends.
Read on for more on the installation and about the artist.
Access, Robert Cervera, 2013
‘Access is a site-specific installation in response to the building of St Mary Aldermary, and particularly to its tiled floor. At the core of this piece is the concept of immanence understood as a type of spirituality embodied in the here and now – in the world that surrounds us.
My first encounter with St Mary Aldermary as a building spoke to me of form, geometry and mediated spirituality. The walls, the ceiling, the columns and the floor seemed to advance an idea of external order and methodical design turned religious virtue. The building implies transcendence: there is a world beyond our world to which reason and systematic observance, encoded in religious practice, may lead us.
Balancing this, the Moot community seems to offer an alternative or complementary mode of spirituality, one that I feel closer to immanence. Meditation and yoga, for instance, encourage an intimate spirituality that can be accessed through mindfulness, embodied in our surroundings in changing, wordless ways.
The floor of St Mary always attracts my eye, its staccato geometry forcefully carrying me up the aisles. As I associate the design of the floor with transcendence, some questions arise: How could one make this floor more immanent? How may otherness, formlessness and mutability find expression in the man-made geometry of these tiles?
The title Access refers to this attempt to connect with the spiritual potential of our immediate material surroundings. It also refers to the location of the installation, on one of St Mary’s aisles. Finally, in this time of Advent, Access can be read in its theological meaning as the approach to God through Christ. the embodying of the divine in the material substance of our world.’
Robert Cervera is based in London and studying for an MA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art. He has been exhibited in group shows in London at Studio 1.1, the V&A Museum, and the RCA, as well as a recent solo show at the Patan Museum, Kathmandu, and a site specific commission at Cowley Manor, Gloucestershire.