Arianne Churchman is an artist from East Anglia now based in Nottingham. Her work investigates British folk traditions, celebrations and customs; and uses the forms of performance, film, sound and sculpture to explore these themes. The work questions how we might import or re-imagine ancient rituals, beliefs and rites within our modern life, placing the mythic and historic into a contemporary context to create a new playful space.
Arianne is working with local allotmenteers to recreate the ancient Harvest Wain Procession, where local farm labourers would parade a decorated horse drawn cart through the streets, bringing home the final load of corn. The crowned Harvest ‘queens’ riding resplendent on the cart were often not what they seemed, with local male farm hands dressing up in women’s clothes. Arianne is combining this with traditional farm customs and practices from the region to create a new ritual for the success of the Harvest. This includes creating bespoke costumes using traditional smocking techniques that reference both the horses and a speculative history of the Molly revellers.