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... to transform the historic Church of St Mary, Devizes, into a new vibrant building

News & Reviews

A Wonderful Piece of Art

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The Jubilee has allowed Devizes to show its creativity, history and spirit. St Mary’s was no exception. St Mary’s is showing it has the potential to be an arts and community hub within Devizes. What better step than to have an exhibit made entirely by people within our community?


Review: The Jubilee Majesty Exhibition

Children from Wansdyke, Southbroom, and Trinity schools celebrated the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee by working with renowned local artist, Joanna May and historian, David Evans over the Jubilee period.

The parish of St John with St Mary in Devizes has partnered with Joanna and historian, David Evans, to put on an exhibition entitled ‘Majesty’. The exhibition hit an unfortunate bump as Joanna contracted COVID, however a fantastic group of volunteers re-imagined her idea and used the children’s artwork to make a wonderful display.

The creative process behind the  artwork

Upon walking into St Mary’s, the volunteers were incredibly friendly and while looking at the piece I spoke to Shirley Urwin and Sophie Marshall about the creative process. The children from the schools had a workshop learning about Devizes and its links to the monarchy.

  • Five different stories were told to the children — King Stephen, Empress Matilda, King Henry III, King Charles I & II, Queen Elizabeth II — with the help of historian David Evans who told the children the stories and helped them to recreate them, some even got to wear authentic Civil War armour.

  • A week later the children were asked to draw something from their favourite story. These drawing were then compiled onto a painting of the Platinum Jubilee logo each picture is drawn on either green, red, blue or white symbolising the jewels in Her Majesty’s crown. From the display, you can see how talented and imaginative the children are.
  • Empress Matilda seemed to be a strong favourite with many depicting how she was hidden in a box and smuggled out of Devizes on horseback, while other children drew fantastic castles or even Queen Elizabeth herself.
  • Along with the artwork were pictures of the children doing the activity, a collection of stamps and pennies to show how our Monarch has changed over the years, and the stories that inspired their creations.

All together it was a wonderful piece of art and a greater symbol for the future St Mary’s has ahead of it. This collaboration with local schools and local experts shows how suitable it is as a creative space and how it perfectly connects art and community. Especially after seeing some of the artwork from the school children, I can imagine we’ll be seeing some more exhibits from them soon.

Meredith Kearley

Meredith is our enthusiastic new volunteer who has a background in performing arts, having studied LAMDA with Bright Lights Drama school. We warmly welcome her to our team and look forward to hearing from here again in future - Welcome Meredith!