Writing for Berwick Church:
Responses by Students from the School of English, University of Sussex
Between 2019 and 2020 two groups of students from the School of English at the University of Sussex produced new research and writing on Berwick Church and the Bloomsbury murals. In 2019 a class of sixty-two, all in their first year, visited the site; each student was asked to compose a piece of writing to be displayed either inside the church or in its grounds. The class tutor, Dr Hope Wolf, has written about this project and the students’ responses to their brief in the essay, coming soon.
Their activities constituted a three-week ‘pilot’ for a more dedicated project on the site that third-year students undertook in 2020. They took part in a 12-week course designed by Dr Wolf, which used the Heritage Lottery Funded project to conserve the Bloomsbury Murals as a starting point for thinking about the politics of representing places, heritage and its critics, the role of the arts in localities and regions, and the challenges of making commissioned site-specific work for particular places and audiences. The small group of students taking this course created a pamphlet of their responses to the site, the murals and the conservation project. They sought to tell new stories about the place, using oral histories, archival documents, works of literature and life writing, and criticism from the literary studies, art history and cultural geography. The pamphlet is available soon.