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WATCH: Town Church sustainably transformed by 'Big Ideas'

WATCH: Town Church sustainably transformed by 'Big Ideas'

Thursday 14 October 2021

WATCH: Town Church sustainably transformed by 'Big Ideas'

Thursday 14 October 2021

More than 20 art installations exploring the themes of sustainability, accessibility and identity have taken over the Town Church for a colourful immersive exhibition launching today.

‘Skipton Big Ideas’ marks 10 years of partnership between ArtHouse Jersey and Skipton International.

It includes an immersive three-week exhibition featuring over 20 art installations by over 40 local and international artists at the Town Church, as well as evening performances, lunchtime lectures and inclusive weekend workshops all focusing on three key themes: sustainability, accessibility and identity.

Video: A quick tour of the exhibition. (David Conway/Bailiwick Express)

Natasha Dettman produced the event but also created her own piece, the Pollinator Pavilion, with Sarah Keirle and Nissen Richards Studio.

She spoke to Express about the inception of the project and what the team hopes it will bloom into ahead of the official opening...

Where did the concept for 'Skipton Big Ideas' come from?

It developed out of a desire to create an exhibition for the whole community in the heart of St. Helier in a public location, which people who had never entered an exhibition or an art gallery could go and enter.

Skipton The Pollinator Pavilion by Natasha Dettman, Nissen Richards Studio and Sarah Keirle 

Pictured: The Pollinator Pavilion was created by Natasha Dettman, Sarah Keirle and Nissen Richards Studio.

We wanted to focus on installation artwork, it’s a way of having an experience with an artwork.

You do not necessarily need to know anything about it, everybody goes away with something.

Why choose a church as an exhibition space?

The Town Church was given to us as a location by the Dean of Jersey, the Very Reverend Michael Keirle.

Skipton Phoenix_by_Kerry_Jane_Warner_and_Margarida_Lourenco_Olivier.jpg

Pictured: 'Phoenix' by Kerry Jane Warner and Margarida Lourenco Olivier.

He was very supportive and understood that the Church had always been a location that sat at the heart of the community. It has had many uses over time, and it was not always a quiet place of worship.

To bring people together and create a vigorous atmosphere was giving it a new life in addition to its life as a place of worship. 

church represents a place where we can go and seek out a spiritual connection and think about the big issues in life, and art also acts as something to connect you emotionally to a subject matter.

What is the goal of Skipton Big Ideas?

We put a brief to artists asking them to address [the big issues facing society today] in their own way.

It’s not necessarily about trying to have all the answers. We hope it sparks discussions and that people feel they can have their say, that it will cause people to think about the themes a little more deeply and spark new ideas about them.

Skipton Fragmented_Utility_Gabriella_Street.jpg

Pictured: Fragmented utility by Gabriella Street.

We also hope that people will enjoy the transformation of the space and seeing the church in a new light and will want to come see it again.

This is a space that needs to be used and people perhaps feel they do not belong in that space, it’s of bringing different people in that space and teaching them about the building. We hope that people will enjoy the transformation of the space and enjoy seeing the church in a new light and will want to come see it again.

It’s just about coming together as a community and enjoying a very public place in a completely new and interesting way.

Who else is involved?

Akhila Krishnan, Viv Le Vav, Casi, Pippa Nissen, Mari Keto, Nina Zaech, Margarida Lourenco, Francesca Monticelli, Ben Robertson, Tim Evans, Yulia Makeyva, Ian Rolls, Alison Horton, Tim Le Breuilly, Kerry Jane Warner, Poppy Whatmore, Gabriella Street, Snap Design, Oliver Le Gresley, Karen Le Roy Harris, Sarah Keirle, Ben Davies, Qiao Cun, Maria Tarrant, Kyle Moody, Heather Barrett, William Howell Jackson, Bianca Padidar, Bethany Voak, Anna Shipley, Henry Lambert, Jodie Carney, Antoaneta Tica, Hayley Wray, Essential Dance, Mike Robertson, and Adam Flynn.

'Big' dates to remember

Art in a changing world

20 art installations will be on display at the Town Church between Thursday 14 October and Thursday 4 November 2021.


Pictured: 'A Jersey Home' by Nissen Richards Studio.

The immersive exhibition is free and visitors are invited to pre book their visit via Eventbrite to guarantee their slot, or to simply come down to the Town Church between 09:30 and 17:30 (closed on Sundays).

The Walking Gallery

The programme includes three nights of wearable art events, showcasing bespoke, wearable and sustainable creations.

The 'Walking Gallery' will feature sustainable style and wearable art alongside a number of special performances, including choreographed dance and acrobatics, at St. Helier Town Church on Thursday 14 at 18:30 and 20:15, Friday 15 at 20:15 and Saturday 16 October 2021 at 18:30 and 20:15.

The Sound of Colour

Jersey-born music producer Viv le Vav has collaborated with projection designer and creative director Akhila Krishnan for an immersive musical spectacle exploring the themes of identity and sustainability using projected images and film loops that will fill the entirety of the ceiling of the Town Church with colour and light.


Pictured: 'The Sound of Colour' is a visual and sonic feast created by Jersey-born music producer Viv le Vav and projection designer and creative director Akhila Krishnan.

The moving imagery will be accompanied by a live performance of a specially commissioned musical score that combines instruments, electronic sounds, and the voice of singer-songwriter, Casi Wyn.

It will be presented on a limited run on Thursday 21, Friday 22 and Saturday 23 October at 20:30 and Friday 22 and Saturday 23 October at 19:00.


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