The banners were inspired by the island’s landscape, children’s personal interpretations and poems and prose written by island residents.
The shape of the banners was influenced by traditional medieval pennants and the colour by ecclesiastical code. You will find references to the gothic architecture and brickwork of St Helen’s. The abstract shape at the base of each large banner is a direct reference to the tops of St Helen’s leaded windows.
When standing in the church, you can match up the shapes on the banners with the windows, but you may need to stand on your head!
The dimensions and use of the space within St Helen’s Church had to be carefully considered to agree the scale and position of the banners. They would all reference the liturgical colours and the ecology and heritage of the island. The many plant and animal species you see on the banners are from photographs and information shared by members of the Lundy Field Society.
The banners take you on a journey that winds left to right from the Oldenburg, up the Beach Road to St Helen’s Church, across to the West side of the island and Jenny’s cove, filled with Puffins and Guillemots, then back to the East coast with its disused Quarry, Sundew and Seals before you look North toward Lundy’s third light house, North Light and beyond where only the Peregrine flies.
Within the map there are stories of the familiar and the wild, togetherness and solitude, transition and transcendence.
As you enter the Nave and look up at the banners you are looking at a map of the island. Can you spot the coastline picked out in gold?
Seen from the chancel the banners take on a more abstract form to celebrate the natural palette of Lundy’s landscape and ecology. These designs were layered using a combination of large scale pastel drawings made by children during school workshops and photographs of Lundy’s landscapes taken by the artist. If you look closely, you will also see islander’s drawings taken from the shared sketchbook and images from the church interiors and display boards including a stained glass fish and an oversized strawberry jellyfish.
When standing at the Pulpit, can you spot a fish. This fish can also be seen riding the waves in one of St Helen’s beautiful stained glass windows. Can you find it?
The banners can be viewed below. Move your mouse over the images to zoom in.
Photography by Daniel McCarthy. Copyright © Alice Crane 2023