'Beasts and More Beasts' by Jo Davis Trench

1 - 24 September 2017, times vary
Hostry Exhibition Space
A picture of the Binham Lions featuring in the Beasts and More Beasts exhibition

An exhibition of Prints and Drawings by Jo Davis Trench.

The work in the exhibition engages in a visual dialogue with the religious and secular imagery of medieval church carvings. They reflect an age of faith where visual metaphors were frequently used to convey God's message and the terrors awaiting the guilty in Hell were vividly evoked. Besides the fabulous beasts that are part of this teeming yet ordered world are intensely observed vivid depictions of nature, as exemplified by Norwich Cathedral's owl with a mouse in its beak. 
 
The prints and drawings on show explore the expression of these dogs, demons, saints and lions and their dual natures that can be found in the Bible stories and elsewhere. 
 
The medieval bestiaries likewise show the lion's dual nature and how he typifies Christ. For example: 
 
"Leo the Lion, mightiest of Beasts will stand up to anybody... The nature of their brows  and tail-tufts is an index to their disposition. Their courage is seated in their hearts while their constancy is in their heads. They fear the creaking of wheels, but are frightened by fires even more so." From the translation of the C12 Latin Bestiary by T.H.White. 
 
One of his symbolic characteristics of the lion was to erase his tracks with his tail when pursued, thus typifying Christ who concealed his divinity when he entered the Virgin's womb. 
 
The churches' carvings that inspired these prints can be found throughout East Anglia. To walk into one of these churches is to enter another world, where the carvings become animated by the fables, stories and scenes that inspired them.

Image gallery

To see examples of artist Jo Trench's work, please see our image gallery.

Open Day with the Artist

Jo Trench will be welcoming and speaking with visitors to the exhibition on Saturday 9 September, 9.30am - 4.30pm.

An alumna of The Royal College of Art (Constructed Textiles), Wimbledon and Camberwell Art Schools (Printmaking) and the Royal Drawing School, Jo Trench is the author of several books on textiles and over two decades was a visiting lecturer at both London and regional art schools. As well as her own studio practice, Jo Trench continues to teach and is currently art mentoring prisoners for the Koestler Trust. For more information visit jotrench.co.uk.

Exhibition free to attend. Opens at 12.00pm on Friday 1 September and then 9.30am - 4.30pm Monday to Saturday and 10.00am - 3.00pm on Sundays.