A Wing And A Prayer” Public Art Installation at RSPB Minsmere by Arabella Marshall
“A Wing And A Prayer” is the name of a large contemporary artwork made of glass that has recently been installed into the ruined chapel at RSPB Minsmere. It was made by Arabella Marshall in her studio in Brandeston and takes the form of a kind of window - luminous colour soaring into the sky from a building which has no roof and whose walls have eroded into irregular shapes of flint and brick.You will likely know that Minsmere is a fabulous wildlife location on the Suffolk coast comprising woods, heathland, wetlands, grasslands and shingle beach - all within view of the potentially expanding nuclear power station at Sizewell! The chapel sits on a grassy mound which was the original site of Leiston Abbey. Founded in C12th the monks pulled it down in 1363 to rebuild 2 miles in land. The chapel was left behind for prayer and contemplation until it was deserted during Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries and left over centuries to go to ruin.Littered with memories of more than one turbulent time in our history Minsmere is a place where seemingly opposing elements sit almost comfortably alongside each other. You might be eating your picnic on a WW2 lump of concrete whilst Canada geese honk in graceful formation overhead, wild flowers shimmer in the wind and you gaze upon the dome of a nuclear power station! This is what Arabella found so compelling 5 years ago when she first had the idea. Glowing like a jewel in the greens and ochres of the landscape “A Wing And A Prayer” is an offering, an addition to the Minsmere story - an expression of utter joy that also includes brokeness.The artwork in this location is a catalyst for a programme of events encouraging people to enjoy the landscape and to consider the impact the we as human beings have upon it. We have begun working with two artists, two Suffolk schools, Britten Pears Arts and Rural Coffee Caravan. Some of the activities are being redesigned and rescheduled due to current Covid restrictions. So far they include: drawing in the wild, walks and talks with the artist, children’s workshops leading to making a window for a school and wellbeing activites. We welcome new ideas! Please do get in touch. firstname.lastname@example.orgA film about the project with stunning footage of the artwork in the glorious Minsmere surroundings can be viewed on the project web site and also on YouTube.Working in parntership with RSPB Minsmere this project has been made possible with contributions from: Arts Council England; Suffok Coast and Heaths Sustainable Development Fund, Community& Conservation Fund and Amenity and Accessibility Fund; Galloper Wind Farm; Hawke Optics; Nichol Young Foundation; Scarfe Trust and over 50 individuals. Permissions were granted by Historic England and Natural England.