Scallop project 1999-2000

Scallop Project1 year residency in small Somerset village and in collaboration with artist /doctor Jane Hazlewood.

Received local and Millennium funding. Final event September 30th 2000 Chillington, Somerset.

Brief description of the Residency

A three phase project, beginning and ending in the small Somerset village of Chillington, with the central theme of pilgrimage.

The residency will culminate in events that arise directly from the Artists’ experience of the village and pilgrimage route passing through it.

Scallop ProjectThe Scallop Project”,wascreated and run by the collaboration of Melanie Thompson – performer / installation artist; and Jane Hazlewood – sculptor/ painter .The Scallop Project came into being as a response to Jane Hazlewood’s direct relationship with the village and specifically St James’ Church in Chillington, Somerset. Jane has lived in the village for 4 years and for the last 3 has been the church warden.

Melanie Thompson, although living in Somerset for many years, has created most of her work elsewhere in the UK and the rest of Europe. She was drawn to the possibility of developing a project which could link work withlocal, national and international communities and sites. She is particularly interested in the dynamic between the personal or particular, and the wider, more public domain.

Background to the Residency

The working title of the project refers to the traditional use of the scallop shell as a symbol of St James, and of the famous pilgrimage route to his shrine at Santiago de Compostella in NW Spain. Santiago was a popular site of Christian pilgrimage in the Middle Ages from NW Europe as it was the nearest shrine which was believed to contain the relics of one of the twelve apostles.

Many pilgrims from England would have used the ancient Roman Fosseway, which linked Lincoln to Exeter. This route passes through Chillington (where it is called the Fisherway), and the story goes that pilgrims stayed en route in the mediaeval farmhouse opposite the tiny ancient church of St James.

Benefits of the Residency

The residency will provide an opportunity for the Artists to develop their practice and to continue their collaboration.

This work, by being both developed, and the results shown, in the midst of the village, will be accessible not only to the local inhabitants but also to casual, as well as invited, visitors.

It will aim to provide a fresh approach to the history of the village, using the church as a central venue to show the work.

The Artists intend to be available to discuss the work throughout the whole residency.