Carving Guy - a transi for today

by transi.guygmail.com in Winchester, Hampshire

We did it
On 29th October 2014 we successfully raised £2,185 with 67 supporters in 56 days

To purchase and transport of a piece of wood for a new transi; the first to be carved in 500 years. Eleanor is not charging for her time.

by transi.guygmail.com in Winchester, Hampshire

New stretch target

What will I use the extra money for?

The extra money will be used to transport the carved cadaver to location for exhibitions. We already have a location for him in Cambridgeshire at St John the Baptist Church in Keyston, which has a transi carved in wood.

Also, the funds would help with exhibition board costs. These will not have a logo on them so they can be used in various locations, and our aim is to tour Guy.


Feniton, unidentified carved cadaver

This project is to fund the making of a modern transi carved by hand in a single piece of wood; it will probably the first transi to be carved in almost 500 years.

What is a transi?

hand

A transi is a recumbant (gisant or lying down) sculpture of a corpse such as that above. They are characteristic of late medieval northern Europe and were typically carved in stone, although wooden ones were not unknown. There are 38 of these transis in England and 3 in Wales, some are single transi such as the one above which can be found in St. Andrew's Church, Feniton, Devon, whilst a few are tiered (there is an example of this style lower down the page which can be found at the Fitzalan Chapel in Arundel Castle). Carved cadavers were a specific form of after-life memorial for members of the wealthy land owning classes and were related to Roman Catholic belief in purgatory; many senior clerics (bishops and archbisops) also chose to be memorialised in this way.

Carved cadaver memorials are totally amazing. They are largely anatomically correct, which given the time period in which they were carved, is astonishing. They were typically painted to look almost life-like with flesh coloured skin, and some even had red and blue veins. Modern day sculptors who have seen these

carvings say that the sculptors would have needed to look closely at a physical body for them to be so life-like. Art Historians however, think they were carved from pictures in pattern books, but our one will be carved from observations.

The photograph here shows how fantastically detailed some of these transis are. This is the hand of the carved cadaver to John Fitzalan who died in 1435; his hand is so detailed you can make out carved bonesand veins. 

There is some research on these carvings, but on the whole they are a hidden part of the English and Welsh heritage. This project hopes to start putting these fabulous late-medieval sculptures back on the map, and you can help us!

How much is the project looking to raise? 

The project is looking to raise at least £2,000

Where will be money go?

The £2,000 will pay for the purchase and transporation of a large piece of seasoned wood that sculptor Eleanor Crook will carve in the style of a late-medieval cadaver memorial; Eleanor is not charging for her time. The piece of wood will be over 6' in length and hence bulky and heavy so will need a van to get it to Eleanor's workshop.

The piece of wood will cost around £1700, and the transport to Eleanor's studio, around £300

Who is working with Eleanor on the project?

Dr Christina Welch has been researching carved cadaver memorials in England and has presented at several national   and international conferences on the topic, written several articles on them, and set up a website dedicted to them. Christina will be publishing a book on them too in due course, with a chapter from Eleanor on carving this transi.publishing a book on them too in due course, with a chapter from Eleanor on carving this transi.

What will happen to the transi after it is carved?

Christina and Eleanor are in talks about a touring exhibition on carved cadaver memorials, with this transi (nicknamed Guy the gaunt) as a centrepiece, so any money raised over the £2000 will go towards the cost of transporting him to various locations, and to the production of exhibtion boards.Guy will be owned by Christina and Eleanor who will ensure he is appropriately exhibited, with all contributors to the project properly thanked.

Who did the promotional film?

The cameraman was Anthony James Welch, and he did all the shooting and editing for free. He will be helping with the final DVD, and shot footage at Winchester Cathedral, St Vigor Church in Fulbourn, the Church of St. Mary the Virgin at Ewelme, and the Church of St. John the Baptist at Keyston (below). For more information on Anthony see https://www.youtube.com/user/AntandREC

Where can I get more information?

For more information on the Carved Cadaver memorials please visit http://carvedcadavers.wix.com/eccm 

For more information on Eleanor Crook please visit http://www.eleanorcrook.com/

To contact Dr Christina Welch please e-mail Christina.Welch@winchester.ac.uk

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£5 or more

£5 Reward

A virtual hug (or real one if you meet us) and our heartfelt thanks

£10 or more

£10 Reward

A special thanks in any accompanying literature (exhibition board, visitor leaflet, book) and a virtual hug (or real one if you meet us).

£25 or more

£25 Reward

A photograph of a carved cadaver monument from Tina's collection, a virtual hug (or real one if you meet us) and a special thanks in any accompanying literature (exhibition board, visitor leaflet, book).

£35 or more

£35 Reward

Two photographs of carved cadavers from Tina's collection, a virtual hug (or real one if you meet us) and a special thanks in any accompanying literature (exhibition board, visitor leaflet, book).

£50 or more

£50 Reward

A giclée print of one of Eleanors prepatory drawings, virtual hug (or real one if you meet us), a special thanks in any accompanying literature (exhibition board, visitor leaflet, book) and a photograph of an English carved cadaver monument.

£75 or more

£75 Reward

Two giclée prints of one of Eleanor's prepatory drawings, a virtual hug (or real one if you meet us) and a special thanks in any accompanying literature (exhibition board, visitor leaflet, book) and three photographs of carved cadaver s from Tina's collection.

£100 or more

£100 Reward

A DVD of the project, a virtual hug (or real one if you meet us), a special thanks in any accompanying literature (exhibition board, visitor leaflet, book), five photographs of carved cadavers and a giclée print of one of Eleanor's prepatory drawings.

£150 or more

£150 Reward

A specially-written illustrated leaflet on carved cadavers virtual hug (or real one if you meet us), a special thanks in any accompanying literature (exhibition board, visitor leaflet, book), a giclée print of one of Eleanor's prepatory drawings and a DVD of the project.


Got an idea like this?

Our crowd has raised over £55 million for bright ideas and good causes.