RSS
London SE1 website team

A Simultaneity of Stories at Southwark Cathedral Refectory

The walls of the Refectory at Southwark Cathedral, some enjoying natural light and some lit with spotlights, are hung with work by Edith Slee.

Edith Slee


The drawings are a surprise, especially when viewed in changing light, for only raw earth has been used. There is no additional colour and the earth has been collected from the bed of the River Thames as well as places in Wales, New Zealand and South Africa known to the artist.

"Fired or used as pigment to create drawings, these earths carry within themselves millions of years of our history and are the bearer of a multitude of memories" says Edith Slee who also lives in Southwark.

"The memory of each person's presence and journey is absorbed by each place – creating layers of of simultaneous stories. The River Thames has been the carrier and creator of an international community here in Southwark since ships and trade were invented.

"Using Thames clay uses the layerings of all those stories. Using my collected clays and earths in these works emulates that history and memory and adds it to my own story."

Edith Slee is the organiser of the annual Firing on the Foreshore when pots made of Thames clay are fired overnight on the Bankside beach.

• A Simultaneity of Stories is at Southwark Cathedral Refectory daily 10am-5pm (except Christmas Day); free.

The SE1 website is supported by people like you

Please join our membership scheme or sponsor an hour of local reporting so we can survive


You can also make a small payment to say 'thank you' for this article with Tibit:

Related forum discussions

Keep up with SE1 news

We have three email newsletters for you to choose from: