Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in Leek

by Sir Gawain Leek in Leek, Staffordshire, England

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in Leek
We did it
On 31st October 2018 we successfully raised £3,500 with 71 supporters in 37 days

A unique arts event celebrating links between the Staffordshire Moorlands and the epic medieval poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

by Sir Gawain Leek in Leek, Staffordshire, England

Our community project

The 14th century Arthurian tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight features chivalry, romance, temptation and a beheading challenge. At our weekend celebration in November, members of the public will be invited to take part and make their mark in a pictorial retelling of the tale guided by local, internationally known artist Sue Prince http://www.sueprinceartist.co.uk. People will also be able to listen to a talk, eat medieval food and take a guided walk to the stunning Lud’s Church with Gawain specialist Clive Foden.

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Image - British Library, manuscript Cotton MS Nero A X/2

Why Leek?

Most scholars now agree that the unknown author of the Gawain poem came from this area and tell-tale signs of this are not only the local accent and words which appear throughout the work, but also local features, such as The Roaches and Lud’s Church, which figure in the action. The event is being organised by the Dr Plot’s Lesser Known Leek committee who celebrate the poem each July with a parade through the town, complete with giants, culminating in a re-telling of the tale to delighted crowds.

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Dr Plot's parade 2018. Image - www.jennyharperphotography.com

Taking part

Before the public workshops, Sue will teach the skill of painting a ‘bonad’ (a style of narrative folk art in egg tempera) to students at Leek College of Art, and some will become her expert helpers. Then on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th November, everyone is invited to come to the college, learn the technique and add to Sue’s version of the story, which will be painted onto four large panels: they can even paint a medieval version of themselves along the bottom of the artwork!

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(Unfinished) detail of the bonad, created by Sue Prince for the Ashbourne Treasures project in 2017, showing figures painted by members of the public at the bottom of the artwork.  Image - Lindsay Trevarthen

Eat, talk and walk

Clive Foden, a skilled woodcarver and Gawain specialist, will travel from Norfolk to deliver one of his enthralling talks on the evening of Saturday 17th November at the Foxlowe Arts Centre. He will discuss the poet's interest in craftsmanship as well as the unmistakeable landscape clues in the poem. The following day, Sunday 18th, Clive will also lead a guided walk over The Roaches and down into Lud’s Church – the poem’s Chapel in the Green where Gawain meets the Green Knight to submit to beheading!

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Lud's Church.  Image: Jason Snape 

Here's Clive's version of the tale - it's slightly shortened and plastic features more than the original!

The folk art painting is a completely new and exciting way of retelling the Gawain story, inviting the local community (young and old, and everyone in between) to participate in making a piece of local history.  When the work is complete, copies of the panel will go on permanent public display and the original will go on tour - a new version of the Gawain journey, though hopefully without woodwoses...

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All the events will be free (apart from a small transport cost to the guided walk).  We have some financial support from Leek Arts Forum, Leek College of Art (who’ve also generously made their studio space available) and SW Peak Landscape Partnership (via Borderland Voices, Arts for Health and Well-being), but we can't make it happen without your lovely money!

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£15 or more

6 of 6 claimed

Yet more hunting dogs

Your dog as a hunting dog at the Christmas hunt at Hautdesert, with its name immortalised on the painting

£10 or more

Set of postcards

Set of four postcards of the finished panels

£15 or more

2 of 2 claimed

More hunting dogs

Your dog as a hunting dog at the Christmas hunt at Hautdesert, with its name immortalised on the painting

£15 or more

4 of 4 claimed

Courtly lady

You as a courtly lady, with your name immortalised on the painting. There will be two at Camelot, two at Hautdesert

£15 or more

3 of 3 claimed

Drummer

You as a drummer at Camelot, with your name immortalised on the painting

£15 or more

4 of 4 claimed

Woodwose

You as a woodwose - mythical wild person of the woods - with your name immortalised on the painting

£15 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Porter at Hautdesert

You as the porter at Hautdesert Castle, with your name immortalised on the painting

£15 or more

4 of 4 claimed

Huntsman

You as a huntsman at the Christmas hunt at Hautdesert, with your name immortalised on the painting

£15 or more

4 of 4 claimed

Hunting dog

Your dog as a hunting dog at the Christmas hunt at Hautdesert, with its name immortalised on the painting

£15 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Servant/guide

You as Gawain's guide from Hautdesert to the Green Chapel, with your name immortalised on the painting

£20 or more

White t-shirt with Gawain print

A soft white cotton unisex t-shirt featuring Sue Prince's Gawain - diligence and faith print, as seen at the top of the page. Sizes S - 3XL. Please state required size in comments.

£20 or more

10 of 10 claimed

Knight of the Round Table

You as one of the Knights of the Round Table, with your name immortalised on the painting. Knights are Sir Agrarian the Hardhand, Sir Ywain, Sir Erec, Sir Dodinel the Wild, Sir Lancelot, Sir Lionel, Sir Lucan, Sir Bors (a big man), Sir Bedevere (a big man), Sir Madoc de la Port

£20 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Bishop Baldwin

You as Bishop Baldwin of Camelot, with your name immortalised on the painting

£20 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Duke of Norfolk

You as the Duke of Norfolk at Camelot, with your name immortalised on the painting

£30 or more

0 of 2 claimed

Fox head puppet

Your opportunity to play the part of the fox in one of two street theatre performances of The Tale of Sir Gawain and The Green Knight at the annual Doctor Plot's Lesser Known Leek event in July 2019

£30 or more

0 of 2 claimed

Gringolet

Your opportunity to play the part of Gringolet in one of two street theatre performances of The Tale of Sir Gawain and The Green Knight at the annual Doctor Plot's Lesser Known Leek event in July 2019

£30 or more

1 of 2 claimed

Lady Bertilak

Your opportunity to play the part of Lady Bertilak in one of two street theatre performances of The Tale of Sir Gawain and The Green Knight at the annual Doctor Plot's Lesser Known Leek event in July 2019

£30 or more

0 of 2 claimed

Sir Bertilak

Your opportunity to play the part of Sir Bertilak in one of two street theatre performances of The Tale of Sir Gawain and The Green Knight at the annual Doctor Plot's Lesser Known Leek event in July 2019

£30 or more

0 of 2 claimed

The Green Knight giant

Your opportunity to play the part of the Green Knight in one of two street theatre performances of The Tale of Sir Gawain and The Green Knight at the annual Doctor Plot's Lesser Known Leek event in July 2019

£30 or more

0 of 2 claimed

Sir Gawain giant

Your opportunity to play the part of Sir Gawain in one of two street theatre performances of The Tale of Sir Gawain and The Green Knight at the annual Doctor Plot's Lesser Known Leek event in July 2019

£30 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Guinevere

You as King Arthur's beautiful queen Guinevere, with your name immortalised on the painting

£30 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Medieval bagpipe lesson

Courtly gatherings would have resounded to the sound of bagpipes: in the medieval period it was the instrument for entertainment and dancing to. So if you have ever fancied having a go at playing bagpipes, (these are much quieter than the Great Highland Bagpipe), now is your chance! Jane Moulder, from renaissance music group Piva, will give you a 1:1 introductory lesson, with a second follow-up lesson also available.

£30 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Gringolet

Your horse as Gringolet, with its name immortalised on the painting

£33 or more

Set of small unmounted prints

Set of four small (267mm x 95mm/10.5in x 4in approx) prints of the finished panels, unmounted, signed by the artist

£40 or more

1 of 1 claimed

King Arthur

You as King Arthur, with your name immortalised on the painting

£50 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Gawain themed wood carving

A wonderful piece of Gawain themed wood carving by skilled woodworker and Gawain specialist Clive Foden

£50 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Sir Bertilak

You as Sir Bertilak de Hautdesert, with your name immortalised on the painting

£50 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Lady Bertilak

You as the seductive Lady Bertilak, with your name immortalised on the painting

£50 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Gawain themed wood carving

A wonderful piece of Gawain themed wood carving by skilled woodworker and Gawain specialist Clive Foden

£54 or more

Set of small mounted prints

Set of four small (267mm x 95mm/10.5in x 4in approx) prints of the finished panels, mounted


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