Degrees of Separation
This is Jane's Installation, one of her most ambitious projects to date inspired by the traces of a love story from WW1. It was exhibited in various galleries and museums, with rolling art engagement projects working with hundreds of young people spanning eight years from 2011-2018.
In July 1917, Lieut. W.G.Hicks was killed in France. He left behind a life in Kent and a fiancée, Jessie Ellman,
to whom he never returned.
This immersive installation almost 100 years later uncovers the traces of his memory and tells glimpses of their story through artworks, objects and artefacts. Bringing together strands of her work in theatre set design, visual art installation, making and curating, Degrees of Separation takes you on a journey exploring memory, connection and separation through WW1.
Part museum collection, part archive of dreams, Jane’s work invites you to step into a world between the real and the imagined and asks what can be uncovered about a man’s life and love from just a few surviving objects.
Jane says - “This project feels like one I’ve been travelling towards since my childhood. I have always been obsessed and horrified by the First World War. I used to feel like a soldier was around me somewhere when I was little and images of the trenches filled my imagination. When I encountered old sepia photographs of people from another time, of proud soldiers in uniform, left unloved in junk shops, I bought them.
I felt as if I was the custodian of their memories even if I didn’t even know their names."
Echoes Across the Century - WW1 imagined
Echoes Across the Century is a commemorative WW1 Project, that was conceived and delivered by heritage artist Athena Jane Churchill and Alison Truphet, involving London Students and Livery Companies which culminated in an immersive exhibition
at the Guildhall Art Gallery in 2017.
Immerse yourself in this multi sensory journey that explores heritage memory and loss. Created by artist Athena Jane Churchill
and featuring her installation Degrees Of Separation, Athena Jane weaves into Echoes the work of over 240 students
as they explored with her the impact of WW1 in this exhibition, that is part created museum, part archive of dreams
“Art has the power to transform us, both in making it and in viewing it. it connects us to our own feelings and imaginations. one of the greatest achievements of Echoes Across the Century is that every artwork tells a story based in truth,
but expressed through the imagination.
Separated by 100 years, we are no different from those who loved, lost, lived and died in WW1. We are all one.”
Athena Jane Churchill
Comments left by viewers at Echoes Across the Century- Guildhall Art Gallery
“An astounding exhibition. I have never seen anything like it before. It made me want to cry.”
“The most profoundly moving and instructive exhibition about war I have ever experienced. Jane is extraordinary. Thank you!”
“We have visited the Somme and other WW1 monuments and sites. This is the most moving and beautiful one of all.”