The title of this group present, “EX VOTO”—a truncation of the Latin ex voto susceptor—interprets as “from the vow made.” Curated by Lucy Stein and Sarah Hartnett, a duo also called the Mary Ley Line Pilgrimage, the exhibition affords works from thirty up to date artists who share an curiosity in a secular sense of the divine, up to date ritual, and anachronism.
In 2019, Stein and Hartnett set out from St. Michael’s Mount in Cornwall to journey alongside the Mary ley line, a path spanning southern England and concluding at Hopton, an unremarkable coastal exurb south of Nice Yarmouth. Guided by desires, coincidence, and psychoanalytic interpretation, the pair developed a private esoteric symbolism, manifest of their large-scale frottage drawing Retable (all works cited 2023), which depicts St. Catherine laboring on the wheel.
Alongside this work, “EX VOTO” options contributions from fellow “receptive visionaries,” together with Alexa de Ferranti, Keira Fox, Nina Royle, Natalie Dray, and Phoebe Collings James. Their visions enthusiastically embrace the quotidian. Able to be worn, Rosie Mullan’s Pool is a slack swath of woven material accessorized with ceramic hoops and tags. Cicely Travers’s Bargello consists of diaphanous silky diamond-pattern lingerie that appears prefer it may have been shed by a randy harlequin. Steve Claydon’s prosaically titled Mary Magdalen with purple egg places forth an icon of the biblical heroine cradling an enigmatic orb within the midst of a purple sq..
By providing these works as votives on public show, the curators deftly invite hypothesis on personal needs and needs. For Stein and Hartnett, who intend to repeat their journey, it’s a generative act. Vows are made and remade; the pilgrimage is rarely accomplished.