Norwich, St John the Baptist Church - Patricia Derrick

Photograph of the installation performance Rubia Rubia by Pat Derrick.

Photograph of the installation Rubia, Rubia by Patricia Derrick. (© P. and E. Derrick.) 

Installation and Performance "Rubia Rubia"

Patricia Derrick

Photographer Elvin Derrick

Maddermarket Norwich 

My installation and performance in July 2005 was entitled "Rubia, Rubia" and focused on the Madder market of Norwich,  associated with the sale of red madder dye from the plant Rubia tinctorum, grown extensively in East Anglia in medieval times.  The market is believed to have stood in the area around the church of St. John Maddermarket and I was intrigued by the thought that the architecture of the church is saturated with a secret history and memory of Norwich's long-forgotten weaving and dyeing industry. 

Photograph of a window in St John the Baptist Church, Maddermarket, Norwich dressed for the installation performance Rubia Rubia by Pat Derrick.

Photograph of the installation Rubia, Rubia by Patricia Derrick. (© P. and E. Derrick.)

 

I sought to make this history visible by installing clues and traces on the building through weaving fabric on the windows, inserting tiny "bales" of fabric and threads into the flint walls and wrapping cords around the railings.  I also grew Rubia tinctorum plants which I planted in a small bed at the front of the church. To involve shopkeepers in the area I gave them red, hand-dyed gloves to display in their windows. 

Photograph of the installation performance Rubia Rubia by Pat Derrick.

Photograph of the installation Rubia, Rubia by Patricia Derrick. (© P. and E. Derrick.)

In the 19th century the city was famous for inventing a dye colour known as Norwich Red which became very fashionable throughout the country and abroad.  I presented two street performances outside the church wearing an extravagant garment, giving away red gloves to members of the public.  The performance ended with one hundred metres of fabric trailing down through St.John's Alley, paying homage to this rich past. 

Photograph of a wall in St John the Baptist Church, Maddermarket, Norwich dressed for the installation performance Rubia Rubia by Pat Derrick.

Photograph of the installation Rubia, Rubia by Patricia Derrick. (© P. and E. Derrick.)

The project was comissioned by Norwich City Council.

I can be contacted via my email address:  patriciaderrick@tiscali.co.uk

St John the Baptist Church, Maddermarket, NHER 565

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