The former church of St John the Divine has been operating as a socially-engaged arts and event space since 2006 - a "space where things can happen". Situated in the 24th most deprived area of England, it is closely connected with the Gainsborough Crisis Action Team and has an attached drop-in centre.
I have been taking my time mapping the space in a sensory way through the body; exploring the movements that being inside this cavernous void evokes and observing and recording the passage and patterns of light and sound.
The Passage of Afternoon Light in Spring
To map a space through the body is to notice, feel and allow the psychic, physical and energetic effects of being in that space; to allow the body to be an antenna of sorts, sensitive to the layers, juxtapositions and emergent images and impulses.
I have been roughly recording them on an old piece of board that bears the marks of years of use within the space.
Gestures have begun to emerge that seem to be present in and characteristic of the space; the gesture of reaching out - to place food or drink in the hand of another, and the reciprocal gesture of reaching to receive...
In the process of mapping the space I have been noticing the many scars that the building carries, and the scars carried by those who pass through this place.
In the spaces between the movements of mapping I have been immersing myself in the mundane task of making paint from pieces of brick fallen from the wall outside. It's a kind of sifting and sorting process; meditative, not thinking too much about anything but letting shapes and forms emerge as I test out the paint.
I am aware of my visitor status here, an outsider to some extent. It is neither my birth town nor my current place of residence, and slowness feels important and necessary as I begin to connect with those who use the space here and the drop-in next door. Conversations have started to unfold, but they cannot be rushed. Trust is not an instantaneous process.