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On the occasion of our exhibition Waking the Witch: Old Ways, New Rites, please join us for an evening with poet Geraldine Monk. The evening will consist of a reading by Monk, followed by an in-conversation with NTU Research Fellow Linda Kemp and finish with a Q&A session.

First published in the 1970s, Geraldine Monk’s poetry has appeared extensively in the UK and the USA. Monk’s major collections of poetry include Interregnum (1994), Escafeld Hangings (2005), Ghost & Other Sonnets (2008), They Who Saw the Deep (2016), and numerous other books and collaborations. She is an affiliated poet at The Centre for Poetry and Poetics, University of Sheffield.


Geraldine Monk was born in Lancashire close to Pendle Hill, which achieved notoriety in 1612 as the epicentre of witchcraft and the subsequent Lancashire Witch Trials in Lancaster which resulted in 10 people being hanged. Growing up with the legend of the witches laid the foundations for her most celebrated collection of poetry Interregnum (1994) and a subsequent rearrangement of the monologues in Pendle Witch Words (2012). Exploring present-day and historical abuse and misuse of what Monk calls ‘language-magic’, she gifts the witches’ words they could never have owned or uttered in their lifetime.

Linda Kemp is a Research Fellow in the Social Work, Care and Community department at NTU. Their research is interdisciplinary, drawing on creative writing, sound performance and social research. Linda’s writing on Monk’s poetry can be found in On Repetition: Writing, Performance and Art (ed. Kartsaki, 2016). Linda also co-organises event programmes of poetry and sound performance.

The intention will be to make the evening as open as possible, and we will welcome contributions from the audience throughout the event. Light refreshments will be provided.

If you would like to attend this event please RSVP to confirm your attendance.

Join A Common Craft for a Day of Ritual to end the Waking the Witch: Old Ways, New Rites exhibition at Bonington Gallery. Through a series of workshops and aural experiences, we will share techniques in grounding, healing, and everyday magical practices. No experience or prior knowledge is necessary. The day will be split into two sessions, each involving two rituals, as outlined below.

Please note that booking is essential for each session, as we have limited places available.

Day of Ritual: Part One

I – Join celebrant Keli Tomlin to explore the creation of sacred space and the practice of grounding, both for ritual and in daily life. We will work alone and as a group to examine different methods of grounding in the moment and in your environment, as well as considering the protective and inspirational qualities of a space made sacred.

II – Elemental incantations: An immersive sound healing ritual with Freya Barlow, Blue Firth, and Isabel Jones, using the voice as a tool for communal healing, relaxation, and comfort. Please bring something cushioning, like a blanket or mat for your comfort on the floor.

Book your place for Day of Ritual: Part One (11 am – 12.30 pm)

Day of Ritual: Part Two

III – A live ritual performed by Hawthonn. A transcendental aural experience calling in potential alternatives for our political climate through magic, sacred feminine archetypes, and relationships with the landscape.

IV – A closing ritual with Fourthland to commemorate and give thanks.

Book your place for Day of Ritual: Part Two (1.30 pm – 3 pm)

A Common Craft is a series of podcasts about the archetype of the witch, witchcraft and magic and how these subjects may affect our daily lives – sometimes without us even noticing. Through interviews and storytelling, each episode will present a journey through occult ideas, feminism, healthcare, gender, and popular culture. A Common Craft was made by Blue Firth commissioned on behalf of Waking the Witch: Old Ways, New Rites, a touring exhibition which looks to the importance of craft, ritual and land on the practice of the ever-shifting figure of the witch.

Launching our 2019/20 season, we’re delighted to present Waking the Witch: Old Ways, New Rites – an exhibition looking at the importance of craft, ritual and land to the practice of the ever-shifting figure of the witch.

The British Isles have a particularly strong relationship to magic and the occult, with the chants of witchcraft echoing throughout their history. Traditional witchcraft has a strong connection to the earth, and an intimate knowledge of herbs, plants and the elements, as well as the human body. As gatekeepers to altered consciousness, witches have been both feared and sought out for their dealings with the unknown. Historically persecuted as an outsider, the witch has been taken on by artists as a challenging force to prevailing norms, and as a symbol of dissidence.

Looking to symbols, tools and the coven as a space for focusing collective intent, the artists in this exhibition explore the path of the witch as a way for us to connect with the earth and each other.

Ben Jeans Houghton will open the exhibition with an improvised performance, expressing aspects of his own magical practice through a harmonic voice and the spoken word, using repurposed effects pedals, loopers, ritual tools, and costume.

Waking the Witch: Old Ways, New Rites is a UK touring exhibition curated by Legion Projects and supported by Arts Council England.

Exhibition Opening with Ben Jeans Houghton
Featured Artists

Verity Birt, Anna Bunting-Branch, Nadine Byrne, Mary Beth Edelson, Fiona Finnegan, Blue Firth, Fourthland, Georgia Horgan, Ben Jeans Houghton, Serena Korda, Candice Lin, Katarzyna Majak, Monica Sjöö, Lucy Stein, Ayesha Tan Jones, Cathy Ward