Stations of the Cross

St Stephen Walbrook, London
Easter Eve 15/16 April 2017
(all night vigil with fourteen videos projected onto the Henry Moore altar, interspersed with readings and silence, plus dance work ‘A Prelude to Being Here’ by Lizzi Kew Ross & Co  )


Laura Moffatt, ‘Stations of the Cross and Resurrection’, Art & Christianity, No 90, Summer 2017
Muriel Zagha, ‘From Psycho to Transcendence’, Elephant, 2017 
Lucy Newman Cleeve, ‘From Station to Station – In the Order of Signs’, catalogue essay
Stations of the
Cross | Stations of the Resurrection, Stations 2017, catalogue, ISBN 978-1-5272-0874-2s
Jonathan Evens, ‘Mark Dean Projects Stations of the Cross Videos On Henry Moore Altar’,, May 2017 

exhibited works:

I: The Royal Road
II: The Sparrow
III: The End of Alice
IV: My Mum (V2-Sensitive)
V: Golden Rehearsal
VI: The Veil of Veronica (offset Halo)
VII: A Minor Place
VIII: Daughters of Jerusalem
IX: In Freundschaft
X: God Is Not Mocked
XI: My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?
XII: The Christmas Tree
XIII: The Bearer
XIV: Cartoon Burial
XV: Here Comes The Sony (Prelude) (with Lizzi Kew Ross & Co)

St Stephen Walbrook, designed by Christopher Wren in 1672, accommodates the first classical dome built in England, and was Wren’s prototype for St Paul’s Cathedral. This architectural relationship provides a physical and interpretive context for the premiere of new work by Mark Dean and Lizzi Kew Ross & Co, in two events curated by Lucy Newman Cleeve. Stations of the Cross brings together 14 video works by Mark Dean that reinterpret the medieval tradition of spiritual pilgrimage through contemplation of the path Jesus walked on the day of his crucifixion. The videos are not literal depictions of this journey. They rely upon Dean’s trademark appropriation of iconic film and music, to introduce visual and aural puns that behave as generators and interrogators of meaning within the work, setting up a series of disputations between the different elements being sampled. The videos will be projected onto the circular Henry Moore altar at St Stephen Walbrook throughout the night on Easter eve. Audience members are invited to stay for the duration but free to come and go, as part of a vigil event that culminates in a performance of A Prelude to Being Here by Lizzi Kew Ross & Co, and an optional dawn Eucharist.

Wren designed his churches to be ‘auditories’ in which everyone present could see, hear and feel themselves part of the congregation. Stations of the Cross and Stations of the Resurrection function in a similar way to mystery plays, providing a contemporary reinterpretation of the story of Easter. The audience is an integral part of each event that, like the Visitatio Sepulchri liturgical dramas from the 10th – 11th centuries, are firmly placed in local contexts and intended to involve the whole community.

Leaving the Easter motorway madness behind, entering the warm darkness of St Stephen Walbrook at dusk. None of the usual small talk of a private view. Feeling responsible for the friends I have invited, anxious but curious of what is to come…

I focus on the central altar—a Flintsone meteor landed in the City—an oracle about to host the event. Speedy brain & impatient body let go, give in—are stilled. I am caught by the gravitational pull.

The crying stone begins to speak—Julie Andrews imperceptibly breathes, wonder melting to anxiety and back. The Bates Motel sign flickers, a warning of the dark road ahead. The journey begins.

An unhurried procession of chapters, silent pauses in the darkness, familiar & half-remembered clips reminding me of all-night screenings at the Electric Cinema as a child—Fellini, Freud & the Marx Brothers drifting in & out of my dreams & mis-memories.

A sense of tumbling down a rabbit hole, transported to a world of stories with no beginning or end, just an infinite loop of magical middles. A feeling of being invited to a very special intimate & shared event. A generosity on the part of all the contributors, multiple references, poignancy & humour rarely embraced in an art gallery event.

I walk home through the early awakening of London; the readings, the music, the images swirl around my brain. No hard sell. No self-congratulatory pomp. No applause to break the spell. I am left with the silence—not of something arrived but of something just left.

—Oona Grimes