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PRECIOUS STONE

NATIONAL GLASS CENTRE, SUNDERLAND

MAY 2017

Precious Stone is an experimental film response to a poem by William Martin (1925-2010) made by participants of the National Glass Centre's Saturday Art Club. Across 5 workshops, Saturday Art Club members (aged 14-16) developed personal responses to the poem exploring typography, hand-drawn 16mm film, risograph printing, experimental sound recording and animation techniques as a way of illustrating and taking the poem 'off the page'. The film was exhibited in the Gillian Dickinson Gallery, National Glass Centre in June 2017.

William Martin was born in Silksworth near Sunderland, he developed a diverse body of poetry and art rooted in the social, political and mythical characteristics of the northeast of England. 

Precious Stone, published in 1970 by Sunderland-based experimental printing press Ceolfrith Press, references how William Martin would collect small pebbles on the northeast coast and carry them on foot to Cuthbert's shrine at Durham Cathedral. The act represented a symbolic way of linking the coastal and upland landscapes of County Durham and the "Haliwerfolc" (people of the Holy Man, Saint Cuthbert) – honouring the monks who would walk Cuthbert's Way as an act of pilgrimage.

Thankyou to the family of William Martin and Jake Campbell for their help in making this film.