Rare wall painting to be reconstructed digitally

A rare medieval wall painting of the Last Judgement in Paston Church will be digitally reconstructed in an exciting new project for which funding has been obtained from the Norfolk Coast Partnership. 

We intend to use expert advice and use the reconstructed image to support a community workshop where artistic responses, in ceramics and textiles, will be produced. Local crafts people will be involved.

The grant for the work as part of the Coast Partnerships's promotion of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty amounts to just over £2000, with matched funding to come from the PHS. The church, situated on the edge of the AONB, was an important landmark on the pilgrimage trail to nearby Bromholm Priory and was focus for the Paston family, and it is possible that the cost of commissioning the paintings may have been met by the Paston family themselves. The digital images will be presented independently on screen at exhibitions and incorporated into a Paston heritage web site. They will be available for other heritage and tourist projects.

The recent renovation work being undertaken at the church at Paston has revealed further evidence of pre-Reformation wall painting. Under the guidance of Dr Andrea Kirkham (Andrea Kirkham Conservation Ltd.) the importance and interest of these paintings has become clear.

Dr Kirkham suggested that with appropriate guidance, it would be possible to work with a 3D graphic artist to create a 3D model of the interior of the church in the 16th century, showing these paintings in place. 

This would be a discrete project, for display in the church, for display on the society’s web site and for inclusion in video. The Paston Heritage Society will use the model to create scenes within the church, using the skills of their volunteer re-enactors.

The Paston heritage website has been growing over the last two years; it contains developing recreations of the church, the hall and the barn as in 1601. This new project will take the existing model and recreate the interior of the church from an earlier period. The society’s re-enactors will then create scenes which will be videoed against green screen background so that they can be put into the church interior,  but can also be presented on the website. An example orf such re-creation on the outside of the hall can be seen at http://www.thisispaston.co.uk/hall_reconstruction.html?name=3D+model+update&mparent=MEDIEVAL

Dr Kirkham has commented on the rarity and therefore importance of the figures that have recently come to light over the chancel arch. She has explained that such imagery was removed or overpainted at the time of the Reformation, and when examples come to light, conservation becomes a matter of great importance. Interpretation through such methods of illustration as we propose is a vital part of the process. 

Graphic artist James Mindham will continue to provide us with valuable help. His gradual development of our 3D modelling through a number of discrete schemes and funding opportunities is building a bank of resources on which the Paston Heritage Society and other local groups can draw.