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Lake District
St. Oswald's Church
Holy Detritus
Amanda Hunter

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Ring for a Leper

Ring for a Leper
St. Oswald's Church in Grasmere, a Grade 1 listed building founded in 642, is holding an exhibition entitled "Holy Detritus" from 28th September to 8th October 2013. Specially written poems by poets from Cumbria and Lancashire, inspired by St. Oswald’s Church, are exhibited alongside works of art inspired by the poems and made by 20 local artists and designer makers from the Lakes Collective.

This is Amanda Hunter's 'Ring for a Leper' made of sterling silver, gold and stone and based on the poem 'The Lepers' Door' by Mike Barlow

Amanda writes: "I was inspired to create a piece of jewellery by Mike Barlow's poem 'The Lepers' Door', and by the actual door itself, which is hidden at the rear right of the church.

"What affects me most in the poem is the invisibility of the people labelled as 'lepers'. They are cast out to exist only on the rugged margins of the landscape and society, avoided by the local community to the extent where they even wish themselves insubstantial. Except on Sundays, when they are invited to become as real as the heavy door at which they wait to listen to the church service and collect alms.

"St. Oswald's Church did provide valuable support in the way of food, clothing, family messages and spiritual sustenance but, by expecting desperate and ill people to wait at a special door in the inhospitable Lakeland weather, the church was also helping to silence them.

"Mike Barlow's poem gives the lepers respect and voice, and I wanted to add to that by also providing them with some beauty and power in the form of a splint ring that could be used to hold a sickly finger together while knocking loudly on the door for attention. So there would be no way the lepers' prayers would continue to "go unheard"! "

A light writer
A light writer
Ignorance was bliss in days gone by. Great information. Thanks.
3 years ago.