Every year the Florence Trust provided a year-long residency for 12 international artists. 2 such artists were Yuka Namekawa from Japan and Steven Allbutt from the UK. They met at St Saviours in 2008/09 and returned in 2019, to help manage the Charity and its home, through this next chapter.
Over the last 2 years the Florence Trust has, like everyone, adapted to circumstance. Changing from the residency scheme to providing permanent, affordable studios and support, for around 20 artists, a programme of 15 shows over 2 years and a natural dye making and textiles education programme, based in its garden.
We would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the Trust over the last 33 years. We would also like to thank everyone we have worked with over the last 2 and half years, to produce, curate and build the shows in our Chancel gallery space, clear the grounds, develop the dye garden and produce several summers of community focused work.
Now, after 33 creative years, the Trust is leaving St Saviours. St Saviours is to be sold but the Trust will continue.
The Trust is currently in negotiations with three different organisations across three different sites in north London. One site has been agreed in principle, one site is undergoing a change of use application and another site is in the final stages of the bidding process.
The potential sale of St Saviours, as a means of securing its future, while preserving its past would no doubt have gained the approval of John Betjaman. The poet Laurette and one of St Saviours more famous congregation, is also the man responsible for having saved that other great building, St Pancras Station, where, next to his likeness, there is, set into the marble floor, a small extract from the end of his poem “St Saviours”.
“Beyond the throb of the engines is the throbbing heart of all —
Christ, at this Highbury altar, I offer myself to Thee.”
A triptych exploring how we make the mundane sacred and the sacred mundane.
“Unless one says goodbye to what one loves, and unless one travels to completely new territories, one can expect merely a long wearing away of oneself and an eventual extinction.” (Jean Dubuffet)
The quotation that inspired artist, Patrick Hamilton to found The Florence Trust, at St Saviours Church Aberdeen Park.
The show was conceived as an opportunity for the viewer to say goodbye to St Saviours and hello to the Florence Trust, as it moves forward and away from its home of the last 33 years, in an attempt to avoid our own, “long wearing away” and “eventual extinction.”
Practical dreamers, Yuka Namekawa & Steven Allbutt met at the Florence Trust, on their yearlong artists residency in 2008/09. They married in 2014. This is their first collaborative artwork.