A new exhibition that attempts to capture the nature of faith has been installed at Cumberland Lodge, featuring hand embroidery by the artist, poet and lawyer Romola Parish.

'Crying in the Silicon Wilderness' features 14 original works, each of which is designed as a contemporary icon, to inspire meditation, prayer or reflection.

Together, the works are designed to form a sequence or a journey, with captions that serve as prompts to stimulate thought and reflection rather than to explain the content of the image.

The exhibition is accompanied by a book that teams each work of art with a poem by the artist, to further expand on the meanings behind the images and to explore the interface between words and images.

The book is available from Reception for £10. It also includes an introduction by Romola, some extended meditations, and information about the embroidery techniques used in the exhibition.

About the artist

Romola trained at the Royal School of Needlework after completing a Masters degree in Creative Writing, specialising in poetry, at the University of Oxford. She also works in the City as a planning and environment lawyer. She hails from Bedfordshire but has travelled a lot in her career and now lives in Oxfordshire.

Speaking about her art, she said: "My creative work seeks to bring into the light, and give expression to, those things which are hidden or mute, or which ghost beneath the surface. Faith is trans-rational and I found that a creative approach to it helped me in my own explorations into what it is that I believe."

Romola trained in traditional hand embroidery techniques, including Jacobean crewelwork and Elizabethan goldwork. She uses this rigorous grounding as a starting point but adapts the stitchwork to create specific effects and textures, mixing goldwork with crewel work, and incorporating additional techniques such as raised embroidery, quilting, beadwork and felting.

Romola is also Creative Director of the Creative Arts Retreat Movement (CARM), which pairs up Christian ministers with creative people for retreats, in which they are encouraged to find the time and space to meditate and explore their faith through creative exercises.

Open to the public

Cumberland Lodge will be hosting public open mornings for the exhibition on the following Saturdays, from 10am-12.30pm:

  • 8 July 2017
  • 15 July 2017
  • 22 July 2017
  • 5 August 2017
  • 16 September 2017
  • 7 October 2017
  • 21 October 2017

Admission is free and all are welcome to attend.

The exhibition will be on display at the Lodge until Sunday 22 October 2017. To find out more, or to arrange a private viewing, please contact Emma Albery, our Friends, Alumni and Outlook Officer, at ealbery@cumberlandlodge.ac.uk or on 01784 497790.