John Ruskin: 7 Lamps of Cumbria

The 7 Lamps Of Cumbria, Ruskin Exhibition

Exhibition at ‘The Blue Gallery’ Brantwood House, Coniston 14th July – 20th August 2023
August 14, 2023

Composer Dr Rebekah Okpoti and Photographer Dr Ian Clegg present a 7-part interactive music exhibition, based on Ruskin’s Seven Lamps of Architecture. This exhibition is an artistic intervention into the life and work of John Ruskin for new and old audiences. It takes a unique and multidisciplinary look at traditional but overlooked RGB Still Life Photography process and Contemporary Classical Organ Music Composition reimagining the Seven Lamps of Ruskin’s work. Truth, Beauty, Memory, Power, Sacrifice, Obedience and Life for new audiences.

This exhibition is the first of its kind for Brantwood House with the John Ruskin Organ Sonata being played in The Blue Gallery. Audiences can move around the 7 images whilst being immersed in the sound of the images. This exhibition makes the 7 Lamps and The Pipe Organ accessible for contemporary audiences and families through prints and sound. There is additional listening if audiences scan the QR codes in the images.

Ruskin had great interest in the intricacies of structure and the involvement of the human hand; we illustrate this by referencing extracts/quotes from his works, celebrating the human influences in the subject matter we choose. By highlighting elements of the different locations through photography we reveal small defects and by examining the detail we will disclose a balance between decay and original individual input, echoing a theme that runs through Ruskin’s writings and illustrations. Ruskin’s comments on music and its relation to other arts contributed to forming the representations and we reflect on his journey into the then ‘new art’ of photography, delighting in the way it confirmed his accurate drawings of the imperfections in the world. We would like to think he would approve of our utilisation of the photographic medium and its symbiotic relationship with music. The Pipe Organ Music gives a contemporary sound to this relationship between photography and music and is a new art form called Imorganology.

The John Ruskin Organ Sonata was premiered at St Andrew’s Church in Coniston on Saturday 15th July. The church organ was used to perform the sonata alongside images of the artwork from the exhibition projected around the church. The John Ruskin Organ Sonata Score is available to purchase HERE.

Dr Ian Clegg is a Project and Photographic Director, a visiting lecturer at Higher Education Institutions in the U.K. and abroad - and a researcher and collaborator in making new and unique art.

Dr Ian Clegg Portrait
Dr Ian Clegg

"My practice specialises in managing photographic projects from samples through to final images. Because of my research with real-world case studies, I have created procedures and methods which enable SMEs and artisan companies to work effectively with photography. Enabling them to grow their businesses with the support of effective images that work across many digital platforms."

Dr Rebekah Okpoti AKA The Girly Organist Lectures in Musicology at Liverpool Hope University and is a Content Creator and Associate Organist at Leeds Cathedral, UK. Rebekah studied at Chethams School of Music, then the Royal Northern College of Music, under Peter Lawson, as a Pianist. Rebekah then completed her MA in Music Practice followed by a PhD in Sonic Installation Art and Composition through the University of Central Lancashire under Film Maker Professor Erik Knusden. Rebekah studied Organ under Professor David Baker in 2020. 

Dr Rebekah Okpoti AKA The Girly Organist
Dr Rebekah Okpoti - The Girly Organist

2020 saw the international release of the Finding Home Collection released in UK, USA, China as a Reimagined Last Supper of Miniature 1:12 scale of Sonic Installation Art Pieces. In 2021 SetFootPress released Rebekah’s Experimental Organ Music recorded as field recordings during the Covid19 pandemic. The album Dressing was released as both a limited run cassette & digital. Rebekah was a Recording and Audio engineer for the Global Sound Movements Uganda Sample Library and was a Score Proof-reader for the Geoffrey Tristram Mass in A flat Published 2022 by Banks of York. 

Most recently Rebekah ran the Arts Council Funded National Lottery Project Organs of Anne Lister Project (BBC’s Gentleman Jack) as part of the Anne Lister birthday Week Festival 2022 where she was commissioned to write a contemporary Organ sonata. Anne Lister’s Organ Sonata was premiered at Halifax Minster, England. You can see Rebekah perform in recitals throughout the UK. 

As a writer her scholarly work includes thesis focused upon the Repatriation of Domesticity within Sonic Installation Art and the role of Installed Musical Composition to facilitate engagement with Space, Void, Poise, Sculpture and Composition. Other activities include writing a chapter on Digital Submissions: in Benchmarking Library, Information and Education Services for Elsevier along with writing a series of popular articles about issues associated with being a Female Organist and Engaging new organists as @thegirlyorganist. Anne Lister’s Organ Sonata and the John Ruskin Organ Sonata have been published by Tim Knight Music Publishers. Rebekah has performed concerts in the UK, Russia, France, Atlanta, Mozambique and Brazil. 

Memory Pier
Memory Pier

Also recently Rebekah has been Leading the Choir Church Project for Blackburn Cathedral, Blackburn Diocese and The Choir Church Foundation as Choir Church Coordinator managing the Choir Church Innovation Project in Lancashire. Rebekah works for DB Consultancy as an Associate Researcher on International Research Projects.

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Dr Ian Clegg