SMALL DIVINITIES. A BOOK WRITTEN BY BARRY G. NICHOLS
PLACE EDITION 2020
A5 saddle-stitched chapbook, with essay and incantations, printed on finest Tintoretto Gesso stock, and accompanying CD by Luigi Turra
Another tributary of The Land Incanted series of text-works, Small Divinities further extends the themes set down in the last edition, They Shall Not Rise Until Light Shines Upon Them.
Located on the remote Bronze Age site at Flag Fen, in Cambridgeshire , UK, this project takes as its focus some of the archaeological records of artefacts found bequeathed to the waters at Flag Fen, and juxtaposes them with poetic ‘incantations’ accompanying my own offerings or ‘placements’. Made from natural detritus, these placements are secreted in remote locations and left to resonate with the environment, creating invisible links between object and place. In a similar vein, the ancient Bronze Age artefacts were deposited into the fen waters for reasons unknown. Were these merely the rubbish and litter of a decaying culture, or ceremonial objects designed as oblations – offerings to some unknown deity? More often than not, it is the smallest, most discrete objects and gestures that resonate in the most potent ways…
….Inside the bag were the most extraordinary objects: a piece of amber bead, a small conch shell -and the broken piece of a larger one – a small cube of wood – a flint flake – a number of different dried roots – a piece of bark – the tail of a grass snake – a falcon’s claw – a small, slender pair of tweezers – a bronze knife in a leather case – a razor with a horse’s head handle in a case bound with a leather thong – a small flint knife stitched into an intestine or a bladder – a small inch and a half long leather case in which there was the lower jaw of a young squirrel – and a small bladder or intestine containing several small articles. ..“
“The Mound People can have no doubts that the priests or chieftains, with the help of their amulets, had power over sickness and hidden dangers . How, and for what purposes the use of many different things had been used, we do not know, but faith in amulets for bringing happiness or warding off evil, and in their powers of healing and witchcraft, persist to the present day, and may perhaps have their roots in the Bronze Age. “
Accompanying these written works, a CD of music by Luigi Turra
“For the first time, Luigi Turra’s music is composed and performed by a small ensemble formed by Violin, Viola and Cello.
Like fine dust, these compositions touch the surfaces of time to recall a past that is projected into the present.
What we hear is the sound of old deteriorated photos observed in a room by the light of dim candles.
Among rarefied refractions and signs difficult to decipher these compositions seem to crumble during their development,
ancient and broken mirror or through the misty outlines of a landscape near the ocean.
What emerges from these shapes are the motionless movements of Small Divinities.”
Composed / Remodelled by Luigi Turra in Venice, Schio (Ita) and Labin (Hr)
Performed by Marta Norbiato (Violin), Pietro Manea (Viola), Valentina Battaglia (Cello)
No Digital Download / No Bandcamp / Physical Object only