4 May - 30 June. Gallery Three.
Dancers process down the streets as a melody repeats like a mantra. A ghoulish looking costumed horse fights with another in the centre of town. A hedge of twigs and branches withstands the tide.
Ritual and custom is found in every society, and Doc Rowe has been documenting the traditions of the British Isles since the 1960s, amassing an enviable collection of artefacts, photography, footage and audio currently housed in Whitby. This living archive, growing year on year, is thought to be the largest of its kind and charts the rise, decline and revival of many of our calendar customs.
Lore And The Living Archive sees three artists respond to this collection through new, original artworks. Photographer, Bryony Bainbridge; printmaker and poet, Natalie Reid, and multimedia artist, Anna FC Smith contemplate what place traditions have in contemporary society and how they influence the communities in which they originate. The artists also consider the role of the archivist and how his presence at some events has become as anticipated and revered as the tradition itself.
Lore And The Living Archive opens at Touchstones before touring nationwide.
To read more about the artists, Doc Rowe and some of the customs represented in the archive, please visit: docrowearchiveandcollection.blogspot.co.uk
Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm, Art Cafe: 10am-4pm. Please check during holiday periods.
FREE admission to exhibitions and some regular activities. Talks, tours, performances, workshops and special events have a cost.
Touchstones Rochdale, The Esplanade, Rochdale OL16 1AQ
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Image: Doc Rowe. Courtesy of Lore and the living archive