York Minster, mosaic installation by Emma Biggs & Matthew Collings


How exciting that Emma Biggs and Matthew Collings were commissioned to produce a temporary installation in response to the Five Sisters – the five very tall and imposing stained glass windows in York Minster.

I was very keen to go to one of their talks yesterday in York to hear more about the work they’ve produced, having caught a few electronic glimpses of it beforehand. Despite having an evening meeting to attend in Bolton and then discovering that the kids would be off school for teacher training to coincide with election day, I was undeterred.

So I invested in a family railcard and booked our tickets. To make sure the kids would have fun too, I also booked places for us on a tour at Dig. The Dig tour did not disappoint. We were given a good introduction to recent archaeological projects in York and the opportunity to handle various objects that had been unearthed: skulls, bones and even fossilisd human poo! The highlight was digging in the reconstructed sites to uncover our own finds in the Roman and Viking enclosures. It really was very good. Happily for me it also finished in good time for us to get to York Minster for the 3pm talk.

The only problem was that the talk, and indeed the installation itself, were not in York Minster but in St. Mary’s church over in another part of town. Oops! Actually, (I realised at this point) I had read this at some point but having lost my print out and then failing to find the info again via google anywhere on earth, I’d subsequently forgotten. At times like this I have to admit waht a scatterbrain I am, despite all my persistant attempts to be efficient! (You might know this already). Not to worry, the staff pointed out the location of the church on a tiny map on the back of a leaflet and reassured us that it was only five minutes away. We dashed off in the direction indicated…alas, on arrival at the church they’d highlighted we saw that it was ‘All Saints, Coppergate’ and not ‘St. Mary’s, Castlegate’. Oh dear. How did we get it wrong? We made one last ditch attempt to find St. Mary’s, trapsing around the area for another ten minutes and then abandonned the idea in favour of a well deserved sit down and somethimg to eat before it was time to jump on the train home.

So my review of the fantastic mosaic installation by Emma Biggs and Matthew Collings will have to be written some other time. I just hope I can get back to see it at the right church and at the right time before the exhibition finishes in November. At least now I have the railcard!

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