St Vigeans New Stone
David McGovern Master craftsman artistic stone carver, 2020
Depicting St Fechin, who the Church of St Vigeans is dedicated to, the new monument is carved in the Pictish style but as a new contemplation, surrounded by both real and fantastical beasts, inspired by the animal repertoire at St Vigeans. The other side of the memorial will feature another design, based on the Pictish place names from around St Vigeans
As a recipient of the Angus Artists Fund David has created a new design stone monument inspired by the collection of early medieval stone work at St Vigeans, Arbroath. The project is a contemporary carving following in the Pictish artistic tradition that ended 1000 years ago. The artwork is inspired by working within the conventions, style and use of space of the Pictish cross-slab tradition.
Combining contemporary design inspired by historic forms of expression and storytelling into a beautifully carved artwork. The unique artwork follows Pictish medieval arts ability to migrate ideas and expression of beliefs through graceful imagery and form. The two sised stonework will be sited at St Vigeans and is the place of inspiration and has the names of the places and its historical connections carved into it.
The medieval church of St Vigeans is dedicated to the Irish St Fechin of Fore (d665AD) an unusual dedication in Scotland.
This new monumnent will form part of an on-going series of new Pictish sculptural artworks by David to be sited around Scotland.
“This award represents, for me, an opportunity to mark Arbroath’s medieval past with a new artistic take on the Pictish cross-slab. A past written into the landscape in the Gaelic and Pictish place names of Aberbrothock and its hinterland. I want to highlight the treasury of medieval art at St Vigeans and, as a craftsman in stone, bring back the sound of stone sculpture to that site and create the first new-design Pictish stone to be installed in Angus in over a thousand years.”
David is a local Angus Artist who was selected to receive a grant to support his artistic practice and to develop a new work. The St Vigeans New Stone is a strong contribution to the cultural programme in the region and a wonderful contemporary enigmatic addition to the Pictish stones of the area.