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“When I visited the Cathedral Cloisters I was overwhelmed by a sense of absence and stillness. It is as though it is a holding place. In response to the space, my work explores our human struggle and individual fortitude through the tension between form and material. The wax on the tablets conveys the idea of life melting away. In solidified form it creates a suggestive surface, an illusiveness. By contrast the tar is enduring, a material that commands respect and works better without too much intervention, suggesting boldness and longevity” says Eleanor Bartlett.

The wax tablets create a pleasing, rhythmic flowing sequence, perhaps suggestive of music.

"The wax tablets possess a purity. They are soft and yielding to the touch, in contrast with the two large tar reliefs. Tar by distinction has an industrial beauty, suggestive of fire, heavy hot work. Thick and sticky with darker connotations of ‘tar and feather’.” says Jacquiline Creswell, Salisbury Cathedral Arts Advisor and Curator.

The white candle wax is applied carefully, layer upon layer, as in the layers of meanings, alluding to toil, patience and endurance.

The installation exudes an atmosphere of spiritual intensity, pure, severe and stark, appropriate for a period of abstinence and reflection during the Lent season.

Some of the wax used comes from the lost wax of our cathedral candles used during the Darkness to Light services.

“Eleanor’s installation addresses the poignancy of human effort and endurance over time, which results in eventual subsidence, melting into a residue of absence and loss. It also reflects the solace and austerity present in the cloister and seeks to engage the visitor on a contemplative level." says Jacquiline Creswell, Salisbury Cathedral Arts Advisor and Curator.