The Spire Presents
Abigail Conway - The Candle Project
24-30 May 2021
Lighting Ceremony Livestream, Sat 29 May, 8pm
"If light is scarce then light is scarce; we will immerse ourselves in the darkness and there discover its own particular beauty” Jun'ichirō Tanizaki, In Praise of Shadows
As part of Brighton Festival, The Spire premieres a new commission by installation artist Abigail Conway. The Candle Project relaunches the venue’s public programme, following a period of closure as a result of Covid-19 restrictions.
The Candle Project is a timely ritual, a welcome, transformative ode to resilience, a light held up to the dark and an intimate celebration of shadow and light. Abigail Conway invites participants to make a tapered, beeswax candle, cast their own words inside, then place it amongst a larger candle installation. As candles slowly burn, remnant messages left behind become glimmering beacons of hope, whispers, for others to discover and take home.
In a transient world which offers little space for deep listening, The Candle Project reclaims and recreates sacred ground, providing an analogue space for contemplation, connectivity and regeneration.
Built over the course of a week from May 24, the public will be able to experience this installation via a celebratory lighting ceremony, livestreamed on the evening of Saturday May 29., This event will mark a communal burn, after a time of transition for many - a transition perhaps unarticulated.
The livestreamed lighting ceremony will be accompanied by specially created soundscapes with contributions from Brighton & Hove based choirs.
The following day, installation participants who helped create the artwork are invited to visit The Spire to excavate and receive messages. For those who can’t be there, messages will be posted. Though the excavation won’t be livestreamed, it is an essential part of the process.
At a time of division, The Candle Project, offers spiritual exchanges for secular and non-secular communities. It represents mankind's fragility and mortality in action, and how ultimately, connecting with others helps us to carry on. When all is said and done, what words would we write to one another...
Dates & Times
Installation : Monday 24 to Friday 28 May, 12pm–6pm Monday & Tuesday, 12pm–8pm Wednesday to Friday. Audiences can drop in during these times to view the installation process and deposit messages for the candles. Participation in the installation is free but must be pre-booked via https://brightonfestival.org/
Lighting Ceremony Livestream Sat 29 May, 8pm https://brightonfestival.org/
“We are longtime fans of Abigail Conway’s work, she transformed our space in 2018 with An Evening With Primrose as part of Brighton Digital Festival. We’re thrilled Abigail will be returning with The Candle Project for Brighton Festival and we hope that local communities take us up on the offer of taking a moment to consider the last year and communicate their hopes for the future in this beautiful mediative work.” David Sheppeard, Co- Artistic Director of The Spire
“Abigail Conway makes encounters. The shapes and conventions of her work are not borrowed from theatre or visual art, they are instead borrowed from ceremonies, rituals, workshops and other less codified ways of meeting; games of make-believe, a night spent dancing with a stranger, or holding hands in the cinema, or riding pillion on the back of a motorbike” Andy Field, writer and performer, co-director Forest Fringe.
About The Spire Arts:
The Spire is a creative space for theatre, dance, circus and performance makers, located in the beautiful Grade II listed St Mark’s Chapel in East Brighton. Led by Co Artistic Directors Faith Dodkins and David Sheppeard. The space is used by both the local community and professional artists to develop new creative projects and is also available for public performances, private events, wedding receptions, exhibitions and launches.
About Abigail Conway:
Abigail Conway is a visual artist and creator of live art. Abigail works with material objects, craft and actions to create playful, site-specific installations and immersive encounters. Her work crosses many disciplines, including sound and video design, music technology, nature, architecture and performance.
Abigail’s work has been presented in galleries, theatres, architecture festivals and showcased by the British Council. It has been presented nationally at arts spaces including the ICA, Southbank Centre, Barbican, Battersea Arts Centre, National Theatre, Forest Fringe, Wellcome Collection, Attenborough Centre for Contemporary Arts, Wales Millennium Centre, Latitude and Summerhall, Edinburgh. Internationally, her work has toured Europe, China, Australia, South Korea, Japan, Canada and the USA.
Educated at Goldsmiths, Abigail is a part time Senior Lecturer in Theatre at University Chichester. Abigail’s research focuses on instruction-led performance and the politics surrounding participatory arts. abigailconway.com
eveloped with the support of the Arts Council England,The Spire and ACCA.
By Abigail Conway
Co- produced by The Spire
Production Manager: Simon Booth
Set Design & Build Tin Shed Scenery
Sound Design Ross Flight
Lighting Design Martin Langthorne