New Relics for Reading

Scroll down and click on a relic to find out about it. Click the forward or back arrow to move around the reliquary.
X

Unknown specs

X

Absolute Unit

The MERL is a Reading museum, well known locally and nationally.

On April 9th 2018 the @theMERL twitter feed posted a photograph of a ram along with the caption “look at this absolute unit” Within 72 hours the tweet gained over 98,000 likes and 27,600 retweets and propelled the museum into global popularity.

I chose the tweet as a virtual modern relic, housed in a reliquary based on the English countryside. I see the MERL followers as a growing band of pilgrims, eager to feed from the museums ‘fount of knowledge’.

Jane Bonney
X

Feminist Gloves

These are the much “hated and resented” gloves of Edith Morley (1875–1964), the first female professor in the United Kingdom, based at the University of Reading 1908–1940. However, there is now speculation that they may have belonged to her friend and fellow feminist, the politician Phoebe Cusden (1887–1981) who in her role as Mayor of Reading in 1946 possibly saw the more practical reason for wearing gloves, rather than an affliction of being a woman.

My current work is influenced by the women of Reading and the anniversary of 100 years since the first British women won the vote. Having grown up in London, I am interested in the hidden history of my adopted home of Reading. I try to create thought-provoking images that have a story behind them but leave room for the viewer to create their own thoughts.

Trained as a Theatre Designer at the Wimbledon School of Art, I worked for the London Fringe and touring companies for 7 years. With creative parents, making things has always been a part of life. Moving on in a different direction I now also deal with another kind of paint!

Over the last few years I have become an active member of the Reading Guild of Artists, where I have been able to use and develop various skills. I am currently on the RGA council and volunteer as their Webmaster and Archivist.

Martina Hildebrandt
X

Jackson's the Family Store

Jacksons - Reading’s family department store – an integral part of Reading’s retail heritage.

My reliquary pays homage to Jacksons Department Store. Through the use of decoupage, and the use of fabric (a nod to Jacksons famous and well loved haberdashery department), I have tried to capture images of the store, and what it stood for. The model of the capsule was engineered by John Godo of Earley.

Jacksons flagship branch traded in Reading from for over 138 years, opening its doors first on 17 September, 1875 , and sadly closing them for the last time on 24 December, 2013.

The store operated a network of pneumatic tubes made by Lamson Engineering which transported cash and documents around the building. Installed in the 1940s, it was the last such system still functioning anywhere. A customer’s cash and a ticket stating the items purchased would be placed in a capsule by the sales assistant; the capsule would be delivered via the pneumatic network to the cash office; the receipt and change would be returned to the customer in another capsule. By centralising the cash collection, the system helped avoid thefts from the various small areas of the store, which would otherwise each have needed a cash register. At the closing auction, the system was purchased for £900 (+ VAT and commission) by the man who had been maintaining it for the past 20 years.

Mohan Banerji
X

Hand of St James

The most famous relic in Reading Abbey was the (alleged) hand of the apostle, St James which is thought to have been given to the Abbey in 1133 by the Empress Matilda.

With this in mind I wanted to represent a hand with the blessing gesture.

As relics were venerated by pilgrims it seemed appropriate to link the hand with the modern pilgrimage to the Reading Festival, hence the wristband.

Liz Real
X

Seed Ball Shrine

At the core of my sculptural work is a concern for nature and our relationship to the other beings sharing this space and it’s resources with us.

My response to this project has been informed by this concern. I have made a reliquary for a Plane tree seed which I collected from the ground outside Reading Minster of St Mary the Virgin, in the heart of the city. Plane trees are known to be able to cope well with pollution, so as an inner city tree this seemed like a good choice to me, as well as the fact that it has a beautiful ball form.

My shrine-like Reliquary is inspired by the Greek/Roman terracotta shrine models I saw in the museum in Reggio Calabria over the summer. The miniature buildings seemed to be waiting to house something important. The birds around the top of the opening are intended to act as guardians - to protect the spirit of nature embedded in and symbolised by the extraordinary potential of the seed.

Sadie Brockbank
X

Creatures of Reading

When I think of Reading, I always think of its buses.

My relic is an old Reading bus and the creatures in the windows link to the town. Courage brewery cockerel, Ye Boars Head, the Purple Turtle and Kingsley the Reading FC Mascot are all taking a trip.

Suzanne London
X

A-block 19 / A-block 47.
Or: The loss of bonds initiated in communal living.

Yes, the lasagne was terrible!

But living communally in halls and carrying a tray from the kitchen servery to a long table, you could sit next to anyone and have a conversation. You could roam the corridors when you felt like being sociable and find someone, anyone. (In real true life). You met people outside your sphere. You could do random things with random people. But it was ok, you were familiar – you lived together. You liked people, you didn’t like people, you made friendships you’ve had ever since. You made friends with people you didn’t expect would be your friend.

It’s no longer (for the most part) the same. There is little sense of wider community in small self-catered accommodation. A social media organised life keeps you in your sphere. It makes me sad for my children. They won’t get the best of the experience of being a student. Small compensation to not eat the lasagne.

Jane Glennie is a typographer, artist and filmmaker. (BA Typography & Graphic Communication, University of Reading, 1994)

Jane Glennie
X

Custard Creams

My relic is about the memory of my very first visit to Reading.

Arriving at the station around midnight in the late 1960s with the man who would later become my husband, after attending a Conference dinner in London, we got off the train but no taxis (they were rare in those days!) and proceeded to walk. The air was filled with the sweet, almost sickly smell of baking from the Huntley and Palmer’s factory (situated roughly where Homebase was)...this was the night-bake of a million custard cream!

Jenny Halstead
X

Remains of an Unknown Reveller

This reliquary houses the nucleus accumbens (the so-called ‘pleasure centre’ of the brain) belonging to an unidentified Reading Festival goer.

It was found on site at Little Johns Farm, on Sunday 20th August 1998 – the morning after Beastie Boys headlined.

Tim Wilson
X

Writer’s Block, C22 Oscar Wilde

HM Prison Reading, Block C3.3.
...For each man kills the thing he loves,
Yet each man does not die.
Michael Zavialov
X

D A 2 K

Multimedia cumen in, a College posts a call;

I answer for a job therein, to teach the Digital.

So Reading my address becomes, my work - Academy;

That’s gone, but here - my ID card - presents the memory.

Michael Garaway
X

Harold's Arrow

I came to Reading in 1999 and knew the museum was one of the places I’d find out about my new home. I was not wrong! What struck me at that time was the enormous interesting stories revolving around Reading, and the vast amount of rich artistic talent that had passed through its doors.

I then joined the Reading Guild of Artists and I have being lucky to contribute to the museum’s activities by exhibiting my own art and helping as a volunteer on open days and Pop up programmes. I feel that my reliquary of ‘Harold’s Arrow’ reflects my continuing interest in Reading and its wonderful Museum.

Thanks to the Museum for allowing me to use images from their copy of The Bayeux Tapestry in my own free and relaxed style.

Thanks to the organisers of this event for stirring up my creative juices and making me work long into the night.

Richard J Backhouse
X

Smelly Alley Pearl

This contemporary reliquary is a small plastic sample container for gemstones and rocks with the label partially worn. It contains a small pearl.

The Smelly Alley Pearl was found Summer 2018. It was found unexpectedly one evening and kept safe ever since. The container offers protection and the opportunity to see the pearl. Whilst it was tempting to remake the reliquary for this event the opposition of the plastic container with the natural pearl challenges me. Can the plastic of the container become precious enough that it itself is treasured as a reliquary or will it be recycled, burnt or become landfill?

The odds of finding a pearl in an oyster are roughly 12,000 to one. There have been oysters for sale in Smelly Alley for decades so there might be a few more local pearls already found.

Jo Thomas is an artist whose work responds to place. The work encompasses a range of media: gestures, photographs, actions, being, drawing, walking, instruments of intervention and participation.

Jo Thomas
X

The Affordable Home

The word "relic" suggests to me a chimera, (the impossible creature), borne out of the malady that is nostalgia. Yet it is also an impossible reality existing in our world like the Mobius loop.

Is the Affordable Home now a relic for the Reading of 2018?

Chris Mercier
X

Remnant

Tucked into the crook of a wall, strewn across the pavement, shards glimmer in the gutter. The small piles of broken glass lie green and brown and clear, the mute sharp tongues speak of anonymous drama.

Unknown acts, careless and forgotten. The remains left to be swept up, to injure, to distress,to threaten ,to anger, to be forgotten, to remind.

Broken.

Beyond repair

Sam Stead
X

The Inkilinkin

"The Inkilinkin" (renamed as a result of my unique texting skills! aka The Hobgoblin “ )

An ale house has reportedly been on this site for around 300years and is therefore of great historical importance. It also has personal significance and importance in my life.

It has been my place of celebration, commiserations, sadness, joy and contemplation; a place to go when nowhere else would do.

Rites of passage in the Inkilinkin

Birthdays together with my lover and my best friend

Birthdays totally alone

Birthday celebration with my son- his first official pint

Always a space for me

Trish Grimes
X

Reading and reading reliquary

This reliquary celebrates the old confusion in the spelling of Reading. I thought of a gory story involving a hand to make a play on the word ‘Reading’ using one of a few articulated model hands that I already had. Then I covered it with gold leaf to mimic the old hand reliquaries.(my first experiment with using this delicate stuff - I ended up covered in it myself!) I fixed red ‘jewels’ to the severed wrist symbolising blood and finished off the innards of the wrist window with a broken hologram rose pendant I’ve had for about 30 years. The hand grasps the phone on which the victim was texting whilst crossing the road. Reading in reading.
Jo Dennis
X

Last Tulip from Sutton Seeds

My love of tulips inspired me to do the Last Tulip from Sutton Seeds, who were a major employer in Reading from 1806 until 1976, with Royal Patronage including Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II - who granted Royal Warrant.

Quality is the keynote of the Sutton Seeds reputation. This 3-dimensional representation reflects that quality in the materials and carefully applied skills.

Using my own Tulip stencil I printed a design onto silk and used this fabric to construct the regular container with stitch, free embroidery, beads and sequins. The Tulip Bulb was made from polyester wadding, tissue paper and a layer of fine silk fabric all enhanced with paint and wax.

The resulting creation reflects the richness of the tulips produced by Sutton’s.

Joan Mcquillan
X

Horseshoe Bridge

I have based the relic on an actual horseshoe in memory of the working horses that used the horseshoe bridge whilst towing barges up and down the river.

It is constructed from paintings done in the local area of the waterways and trees.

This bridge is an important structure, listed, but unknown to many . The confuence of the two rivers emphasises how lucky Reading is to have lovely waterways to enjoy.

These waterways of Reading are often hidden but are beautiful assets that should be valued , respected and honoured as historic relics were.

This bridge was intended to take foot traffic and barge towing horses across the Kennet to continue along the Thames.

Its shape made it become known locally as the Horseshoe Bridge,now used by walkers and cyclists to access the river side.

Clare Buchta
X

New Relics for Reading

Relics once drew thousands of pilgrims to Reading Abbey. When Henry VIII closed Reading Abbey in the Dissolution the many relics associated with the Abbey were scattered. Artists were invited to reinterpret the idea of the relic and to create a secular reliquary to be shown alongside Reading Between the Lines’ new play Henry II. All the relics are associated with Reading and reflect life in Reading from before the time of Henry II to now and into the future. These new relics may be real or imagined. Special thanks to

The Vergers at Reading Minster, Toby and Emma from Reading Between the Lines, RGSpaces and Jelly for all their help in making this project possible.

New Relics for Reading is a collaboration between Elaine Blake, Carole Edwards, Jenny Halstead, Martina Hildebrandt, Jo Thomas, Maeve Prendergast, Martin Andrews, Sally Mortimore, Suzanne Stallard and Therese Lawlor.

Reading Museum, Reading Guild of Artists, Two Rivers Press, Jelly, OHOS, Whiteknights Studio Trail, Independent Artists Network Tim Wilson:poster design.

X

By the Thames

Celebrating my walks over the last 30 years beside the river and then my new found love of Tapestry
Helen Westhrop
X

The 3Bs - Bonny Brickwork and Buildings

One of the things I love about Reading is its wonderful history and really interesting old buildings which often appear in my work.

My reliquary includes Gelli prints of St James Church with magnolia blossoms in Spring, the old buildings in Market Place, fragments of the Town Hall and St Lawrence’s churchyard.

Therese Lawlor
X

Section of Reading Civic Centre

A piece of the Reading Civic Centre after it was demolished having come to the end of its design life after 40 years.

Its shape is an echo of a sister building nearby.

It has been safely wrapped in case of contamination by other building materials used at the time of construction.

(Disclaimer, it’s not really!)

Martina Hildebrandt
X

Section of Reading Civic Centre

A piece of the Reading Civic Centre after it was demolished having come to the end of its design life after 40 years.

Its shape is an echo of a sister building nearby.

It has been safely wrapped in case of contamination by other building materials used at the time of construction.

(Disclaimer, it’s not really!)

Martina Hildebrandt
X

Hand of St James

The most famous relic in Reading Abbey was the (alleged) hand of the apostle, St James which is thought to have been given to the Abbey in 1133 by the Empress Matilda.

With this in mind I wanted to represent a hand with the blessing gesture.

As relics were venerated by pilgrims it seemed appropriate to link the hand with the modern pilgrimage to the Reading Festival, hence the wristband.

Liz Real
X

Reading Man

This is a man of the Readingas tribe, running after boar

This is a man of Reada’s People, leaping a ford

This is a man running along the towpath, timeless

Robert Fitzmaurice
X

Womad Nights

Inspired by the reliquary arms with jewels and patterning I thought I could use some articulated hands that I had for a few years. I wanted to make a little shrine to remember the happy diversity that Womad seemed to bring to Reading every year. I encased a small globe in the little window in the arm to signify how the world was brought to Reading in music food and people. I painted henna-type patterns on the hand because that was often seen at Womad.

Round the wrist is a Womad entry wristband of mine from 1994, - this is the real relic.

The silk festival flags flutter in the wind against the distinctive blue of the Womad marquee.

Jo Dennis
X

Writers in Reading

My relic celebrates famous authors who have an association with Reading in order remind people of just one aspect of the towns rich cultural heritage. The selection is in no way complete – where is TE Lawrence who lost the first manuscript of the Severn Pillars of Wisdom on Reading Station? I drew the portraits to illustrate a book on the subject written by Dennis Butts and published by Reading’s Two Rivers Press. The cat is called ‘Orlando’ from books written by Kathleen Hale – a student of Fine Art at Reading from 1915–17.
Martin Andrews
X

It takes the Biscuit

‘It Takes The Biscuit’ - a nice cuppa and a couple of biscuits When the call came to create reliquaries for Reading, my mind went straight to biscuits - as it so often does! More precisely, Huntley & Palmer’s biscuits were the obvious thought for my reliquary. Huntley & Palmer’s was founded in Reading in 1822 and its iconic red brick biscuit factory was a local landmark, known to all who lived in and around the town. It certainly was a childhood memory for me - as were their very special biscuits!

When creating my reliquary, a decorated cup and saucer, the choice of biscuit wrappers for the decoupage was enormous, since at their height H & P made 400 different varieties while employing 5,000 workers. I don’t recommend trying the relics themselves - rock hard, salt dough biscuits for decoration only!

Sadly the factory was closed in 1976. ‘It Takes The Biscuit’ is a small tribute to a great company.

Trish Roberts
X

Reading Our Town (City?)

In 1999/2000 I was closely involved in the Reading entry for the McDonalds Our Town Story at The Millennium Dome. At the same time, people I knew were involved in the City Status bid for Reading. The Our Town Story we produced involved a number of pupils and teachers from several schools working together to represent aspects of Reading’s history through dance and costume. There was a vast amount of enthusiasm and cooperation from the council rep, pupils and teachers to produce something that we would be proud of. Sadly, it became very ‘clever’ to trash the Millennium Dome in the press and elsewhere, thus also trashing the efforts of the people working with pride to represent their areas. My piece represents the enthusiasm (and glitz) we and (and many other towns) put into our work. The relic my dome contains is fragments of a photo I took of Reading’s performers relaxing at the Dome. The work is a bit tongue in cheek. A bit two fingers to the ‘intelligentsia’ who trashed us! The Millennium Dome is now the successful O2. Reading did not get city status, but I wish I had a fiver for every time I’ve heard someone say it should be one, or that they believe it is one. Brighton and Hove got the honours - so it took 2 towns to beat us!
Sue Eley
X

Jackson's the Family Store

Jacksons - Reading’s family department store – an integral part of Reading’s retail heritage.

My reliquary pays homage to Jacksons Department Store. Through the use of decoupage, and the use of fabric (a nod to Jacksons famous and well loved haberdashery department), I have tried to capture images of the store, and what it stood for. The model of the capsule was engineered by John Godo of Earley.

Jacksons flagship branch traded in Reading from for over 138 years, opening its doors first on 17 September, 1875 , and sadly closing them for the last time on 24 December, 2013.

The store operated a network of pneumatic tubes made by Lamson Engineering which transported cash and documents around the building. Installed in the 1940s, it was the last such system still functioning anywhere. A customer’s cash and a ticket stating the items purchased would be placed in a capsule by the sales assistant; the capsule would be delivered via the pneumatic network to the cash office; the receipt and change would be returned to the customer in another capsule. By centralising the cash collection, the system helped avoid thefts from the various small areas of the store, which would otherwise each have needed a cash register. At the closing auction, the system was purchased for £900 (+ VAT and commission) by the man who had been maintaining it for the past 20 years.

Mohan Banerji
X

Stories from the Seeds Guardians

Emotional State is a collaboration between two designer artists who work together exploring themes of the great female holy wild.

Each one of us has an ancient cellular memory of being a seed keeper. The communities from which we descend are resilient survivors, just like our seeds, we triumph over adversity.

Whether a seed is carried by land, air, water, animal or stolen by two seed guardians, the purpose to return them to the great female Holy Wild - Mother Nature.

Emotional State
X

Jackson's

My reliquary is a miniature knitted replica of my grandmother’s sewing basket. I was born at 30 Hatherley Road and she lived opposite at 27. I use her basket for sewing bits and pieces, in her time it would have been full of her bits and pieces from Jackson’s.

My knitted basket contains paper leaves and has a label to explain:

‘JACKSON’S...Their wonderfully unsophisticated window displays are a delight: you can tell it’s autumn when they bring out the sprays of artificial brown leaves.'

Adam Sowan—Abattoirs to Zinzan Street pub.Two Rivers Press

Sally Castle
X

Horseshoe Bridge

I have based the relic on an actual horseshoe in memory of the working horses that used the horseshoe bridge whilst towing barges up and down the river.

It is constructed from paintings done in the local area of the waterways and trees.

This bridge is an important structure, listed, but unknown to many . The confuence of the two rivers emphasises how lucky Reading is to have lovely waterways to enjoy.

These waterways of Reading are often hidden but are beautiful assets that should be valued , respected and honoured as historic relics were.

This bridge was intended to take foot traffic and barge towing horses across the Kennet to continue along the Thames.

Its shape made it become known locally as the Horseshoe Bridge,now used by walkers and cyclists to access the river side.

Clare Buchta
X

By the Thames

Celebrating my walks over the last 30 years beside the river and then my new found love of Tapestry
Helen Westhrop
X

The 3Bs - Bonny Brickwork and Buildings

One of the things I love about Reading is its wonderful history and really interesting old buildings which often appear in my work.

My reliquary includes Gelli prints of St James Church with magnolia blossoms in Spring, the old buildings in Market Place, fragments of the Town Hall and St Lawrence’s churchyard.

Therese Lawlor
X

Remains of an Unknown Reveller

This reliquary houses the nucleus accumbens (the so-called ‘pleasure centre’ of the brain) belonging to an unidentified Reading Festival goer.

It was found on site at Little Johns Farm, on Sunday 20th August 1998 – the morning after Beastie Boys headlined.

Tim Wilson
X

D A 2 K

Multimedia cumen in, a College posts a call;

I answer for a job therein, to teach the Digital.

So Reading my address becomes, my work - Academy;

That’s gone, but here - my ID card - presents the memory.

Michael Garaway
X

Custard Creams

My relic is about the memory of my very first visit to Reading.

Arriving at the station around midnight in the late 1960s with the man who would later become my husband, after attending a Conference dinner in London, we got off the train but no taxis (they were rare in those days!) and proceeded to walk. The air was filled with the sweet, almost sickly smell of baking from the Huntley and Palmer’s factory (situated roughly where Homebase was)...this was the night-bake of a million custard cream!

Jenny Halstead
X

Creatures of Reading

When I think of Reading, I always think of its buses.

My relic is an old Reading bus and the creatures in the windows link to the town. Courage brewery cockerel, Ye Boars Head, the Purple Turtle and Kingsley the Reading FC Mascot are all taking a trip.

Suzanne London
X

Feminist Gloves

These are the much “hated and resented” gloves of Edith Morley (1875–1964), the first female professor in the United Kingdom, based at the University of Reading 1908–1940. However, there is now speculation that they may have belonged to her friend and fellow feminist, the politician Phoebe Cusden (1887–1981) who in her role as Mayor of Reading in 1946 possibly saw the more practical reason for wearing gloves, rather than an affliction of being a woman.

My current work is influenced by the women of Reading and the anniversary of 100 years since the first British women won the vote. Having grown up in London, I am interested in the hidden history of my adopted home of Reading. I try to create thought-provoking images that have a story behind them but leave room for the viewer to create their own thoughts.

Trained as a Theatre Designer at the Wimbledon School of Art, I worked for the London Fringe and touring companies for 7 years. With creative parents, making things has always been a part of life. Moving on in a different direction I now also deal with another kind of paint!

Over the last few years I have become an active member of the Reading Guild of Artists, where I have been able to use and develop various skills. I am currently on the RGA council and volunteer as their Webmaster and Archivist.

Martina Hildebrandt
X

Seed Ball Shrine

At the core of my sculptural work is a concern for nature and our relationship to the other beings sharing this space and it’s resources with us.

My response to this project has been informed by this concern. I have made a reliquary for a Plane tree seed which I collected from the ground outside Reading Minster of St Mary the Virgin, in the heart of the city. Plane trees are known to be able to cope well with pollution, so as an inner city tree this seemed like a good choice to me, as well as the fact that it has a beautiful ball form.

My shrine-like Reliquary is inspired by the Greek/Roman terracotta shrine models I saw in the museum in Reggio Calabria over the summer. The miniature buildings seemed to be waiting to house something important. The birds around the top of the opening are intended to act as guardians - to protect the spirit of nature embedded in and symbolised by the extraordinary potential of the seed.

Sadie Brockbank
X

Reliquary of relics

This is a modern take on a medieval reliquary dating from the fifteenth century which contained the ‘tooth of Mary Magdalene’. It is made from coloured foil from sweet and Easter egg wrappers lovingly collected at the appropriate seasonal festivities. The reliquary contains a roll of paper on which I have written a list of the relics know to have been owned by Reading Abbey – including the hand of St James and hairs from the head of the Virgin Mary.
Martin Andrews
X

Writers in Reading

My relic celebrates famous authors who have an association with Reading in order remind people of just one aspect of the towns rich cultural heritage. The selection is in no way complete – where is TE Lawrence who lost the first manuscript of the Severn Pillars of Wisdom on Reading Station? I drew the portraits to illustrate a book on the subject written by Dennis Butts and published by Reading’s Two Rivers Press. The cat is called ‘Orlando’ from books written by Kathleen Hale – a student of Fine Art at Reading from 1915–17.
Martin Andrews
X

Womad Nights

Inspired by the reliquary arms with jewels and patterning I thought I could use some articulated hands that I had for a few years. I wanted to make a little shrine to remember the happy diversity that Womad seemed to bring to Reading every year. I encased a small globe in the little window in the arm to signify how the world was brought to Reading in music food and people. I painted henna-type patterns on the hand because that was often seen at Womad.

Round the wrist is a Womad entry wristband of mine from 1994, - this is the real relic.

The silk festival flags flutter in the wind against the distinctive blue of the Womad marquee.

Jo Dennis
X

Jackson's the Family Store

Jacksons - Reading’s family department store – an integral part of Reading’s retail heritage.

My reliquary pays homage to Jacksons Department Store. Through the use of decoupage, and the use of fabric (a nod to Jacksons famous and well loved haberdashery department), I have tried to capture images of the store, and what it stood for. The model of the capsule was engineered by John Godo of Earley.

Jacksons flagship branch traded in Reading from for over 138 years, opening its doors first on 17 September, 1875 , and sadly closing them for the last time on 24 December, 2013.

The store operated a network of pneumatic tubes made by Lamson Engineering which transported cash and documents around the building. Installed in the 1940s, it was the last such system still functioning anywhere. A customer’s cash and a ticket stating the items purchased would be placed in a capsule by the sales assistant; the capsule would be delivered via the pneumatic network to the cash office; the receipt and change would be returned to the customer in another capsule. By centralising the cash collection, the system helped avoid thefts from the various small areas of the store, which would otherwise each have needed a cash register. At the closing auction, the system was purchased for £900 (+ VAT and commission) by the man who had been maintaining it for the past 20 years.

Mohan Banerji
X

Reading Buses

MA in Fine Arts, Academy of Applied Arts, St Petersburg. She lives in the UK and works for private commission and regular shows. Her work is represented in private collections throughout the world, published in educational material and has been exhibited regularly throughout Europe.
Natasha Zavialov
X

The Affordable Home

The word "relic" suggests to me a chimera, (the impossible creature), borne out of the malady that is nostalgia. Yet it is also an impossible reality existing in our world like the Mobius loop.

Is the Affordable Home now a relic for the Reading of 2018?

Chris Mercier
X

Stories from the Seeds Guardians

Emotional State is a collaboration between two designer artists who work together exploring themes of the great female holy wild.

Each one of us has an ancient cellular memory of being a seed keeper. The communities from which we descend are resilient survivors, just like our seeds, we triumph over adversity.

Whether a seed is carried by land, air, water, animal or stolen by two seed guardians, the purpose to return them to the great female Holy Wild - Mother Nature.

Emotional State
X

Jackson's

My reliquary is a miniature knitted replica of my grandmother’s sewing basket. I was born at 30 Hatherley Road and she lived opposite at 27. I use her basket for sewing bits and pieces, in her time it would have been full of her bits and pieces from Jackson’s.

My knitted basket contains paper leaves and has a label to explain:

‘JACKSON’S...Their wonderfully unsophisticated window displays are a delight: you can tell it’s autumn when they bring out the sprays of artificial brown leaves.'

Adam Sowan—Abattoirs to Zinzan Street pub.Two Rivers Press

Sally Castle
X

Custard Creams

My relic is about the memory of my very first visit to Reading.

Arriving at the station around midnight in the late 1960s with the man who would later become my husband, after attending a Conference dinner in London, we got off the train but no taxis (they were rare in those days!) and proceeded to walk. The air was filled with the sweet, almost sickly smell of baking from the Huntley and Palmer’s factory (situated roughly where Homebase was)...this was the night-bake of a million custard cream!

Jenny Halstead
X

The Huntley and Palmer Wedding Cake 1945

My parents got married on August 10th 1945 in Holy Trinity Church, Hermitage, near Newbury, very soon after the end of World War II. They were exceedingly lucky to have a wedding cake, which was kindly supplied by the Palmer family.

My grandfather was the Vicar of Holy Trinity Church, the Palmers were friends who lived in the village.

Carole Stephens
X

Harold's Arrow

I came to Reading in 1999 and knew the museum was one of the places I’d find out about my new home. I was not wrong! What struck me at that time was the enormous interesting stories revolving around Reading, and the vast amount of rich artistic talent that had passed through its doors.

I then joined the Reading Guild of Artists and I have being lucky to contribute to the museum’s activities by exhibiting my own art and helping as a volunteer on open days and Pop up programmes. I feel that my reliquary of ‘Harold’s Arrow’ reflects my continuing interest in Reading and its wonderful Museum.

Thanks to the Museum for allowing me to use images from their copy of The Bayeux Tapestry in my own free and relaxed style.

Thanks to the organisers of this event for stirring up my creative juices and making me work long into the night.

Richard J Backhouse
X

Horseshoe Bridge

I have based the relic on an actual horseshoe in memory of the working horses that used the horseshoe bridge whilst towing barges up and down the river.

It is constructed from paintings done in the local area of the waterways and trees.

This bridge is an important structure, listed, but unknown to many . The confuence of the two rivers emphasises how lucky Reading is to have lovely waterways to enjoy.

These waterways of Reading are often hidden but are beautiful assets that should be valued , respected and honoured as historic relics were.

This bridge was intended to take foot traffic and barge towing horses across the Kennet to continue along the Thames.

Its shape made it become known locally as the Horseshoe Bridge,now used by walkers and cyclists to access the river side.

Clare Buchta
X

Remains of an Unknown Reveller

This reliquary houses the nucleus accumbens (the so-called ‘pleasure centre’ of the brain) belonging to an unidentified Reading Festival goer.

It was found on site at Little Johns Farm, on Sunday 20th August 1998 – the morning after Beastie Boys headlined.

Tim Wilson
X

The 3Bs - Bonny Brickwork and Buildings

One of the things I love about Reading is its wonderful history and really interesting old buildings which often appear in my work.

My reliquary includes Gelli prints of St James Church with magnolia blossoms in Spring, the old buildings in Market Place, fragments of the Town Hall and St Lawrence’s churchyard.

Therese Lawlor
X

Hand of St James

The most famous relic in Reading Abbey was the (alleged) hand of the apostle, St James which is thought to have been given to the Abbey in 1133 by the Empress Matilda.

With this in mind I wanted to represent a hand with the blessing gesture.

As relics were venerated by pilgrims it seemed appropriate to link the hand with the modern pilgrimage to the Reading Festival, hence the wristband.

Liz Real
X

Feminist Gloves

These are the much “hated and resented” gloves of Edith Morley (1875–1964), the first female professor in the United Kingdom, based at the University of Reading 1908–1940. However, there is now speculation that they may have belonged to her friend and fellow feminist, the politician Phoebe Cusden (1887–1981) who in her role as Mayor of Reading in 1946 possibly saw the more practical reason for wearing gloves, rather than an affliction of being a woman.

My current work is influenced by the women of Reading and the anniversary of 100 years since the first British women won the vote. Having grown up in London, I am interested in the hidden history of my adopted home of Reading. I try to create thought-provoking images that have a story behind them but leave room for the viewer to create their own thoughts.

Trained as a Theatre Designer at the Wimbledon School of Art, I worked for the London Fringe and touring companies for 7 years. With creative parents, making things has always been a part of life. Moving on in a different direction I now also deal with another kind of paint!

Over the last few years I have become an active member of the Reading Guild of Artists, where I have been able to use and develop various skills. I am currently on the RGA council and volunteer as their Webmaster and Archivist.

Martina Hildebrandt