Eternal Source

Gold leaf-painted wall-mounted oak panel photo detail

A Light Sculpture for St. Mary’s and St Ethelburga Church, Lyminge, Kent, UK.

A permanent artwork made in 2020-21.

Commissioned by Rob and Diana Baldwin for the "Pathways to the Past" project, which included an archeological dig for the remains of St.Ethelburga.

Gold leaf-painted wall-mounted oak panel in situ of church interior
"Eternal Source"
22ct gold leaf, oil paint and gesso on an oak panel
5’ 7” by 18”
“Just so beautiful.”
Edmund de Waal, June 2021

Made from early 20th-century pew oak recycled from this church and combining late medieval / early renaissance panel painting techniques with imagery of the aerial technology (LIDAR) and Google maps, "Eternal Source" was made to reflect our time, yet exist comfortably, forever, within the church context.

The title was inspired by a piece of music by Handel by the same name.

Press play to hear...

A sound-clip of Handel's "Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne HWV 74: 1. Eternal Source of Light Divine", performed by Iestyn Davies, Alison Balsom, Trevor Pinnock and The English Concert

Kate has created a contemporary icon to honour the existence and the journey of the Nail Bourne from the source to the sea.

The dark blue background is made from a mix of Ultramarine Blue to represent the heavenly and Raw Umber to represent the earth.

Gold is used to represent the water; the gold reflects the sunlight as it changes through the day, so it seems almost alive. 

Water is the source of life, hence the reason humans chose to camp and spend time in this specific landscape 8-10,000 years ago. The debris from making flint tools has been found in large quantities close to the spring head, which still flows out of the chalk to this day, demonstrating a startling continuity for the spring which continued as the main public source of water in Lyminge up to 1905.

The dimensions are 5’ 7” by 18”; the approximate height and width of a woman, referencing St. Ethelburga (died c 650) and St Eadburg (died 751); the royal Anglo-Saxon saints of Lyminge. The resting place of both of them is believed to have been close by up to 1085 when their remains were translated to the Priory of St Gregory in Canterbury.

Gallery of Images of "Eternal Source"

The artwork was blessed by Rt Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Bishop of Dover, in June 2021.