‘Invisible Fabrick’ was a month-long project with artists and writers which looked at the relationships between history, text and land.

Taking place mainly in Norwich in May 2014, it circled themes visited by Thomas de Quincey and Sir Thomas Browne, and included film screenings in Norwich and Colchester about ritual and performed spaces and layered histories; a symposium at Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery, with artists Adam Chodzko and Patrick Coyle, architecture critic and writer Owen Hatherley, Claire Preston (Queen Mary University of London) and Sarah Dillon (University of Cambridge); and a new commissioned film and performance at OUTPOST Gallery by artists Jessica Warboys and Morten Norbye Halvorsen about Boudica, Queen of the Iceni.

Featuring new writing by Martin Herbert, Rory Macbeth, Owen Hatherley, Patrick Coyle and Dan Richards which explores the concerns of the project further, the book ‘Invisible Fabrick’ also launched in May.

Figured by the relationship of text to land, of history to space, the project looked at ways of, or instances which refute or complicate a panoptic sense of history; of history as a quantitative, linear chain of events. It considered the broader mechanism of the accretion of histories, the appropriation of those histories as archetype, moral instruction or contemporary allegory; and the notion of the performance of space – the site as a series of performed actions and representations – with reference to the landscape of Norwich and Norfolk, drawing them into a critical discourse which arrives at a means by which to speak of the universal through the particular.

“The severe Schooles shall never laugh me out of the Philosophy of Hermes, that this visible World is but a picture of the invisible, wherein, as in a pourtract, things are not truely, but in equivocall shapes, and as they counterfeit some more reall substance in that invisible fabrick.” – Thomas Browne, ‘Religio Medici’

‘Invisible Fabrick’ was generously funded by Arts Council England, The Elephant Trust, Norfolk County Council and Gaudel de Stampa.

Programme partners:  OUTPOST, Norfolk Museums Service, The Minories Galleries, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts