press release

Such a man dwelt upon the Bass Rock, a man of God, Peden the Prophet was his name. Surely, ye’ll have heard tell of Alexander ‘Prophet’ Peden? [...]

Prophet Peden’s all-male extremism lives on in our sitting rooms. His grandaughter married a member of the Jervis family, Huguenot weavers who fled from persecution in France. Prophetess Peden-Jervis moved from her beloved Scotia to 18 Folgate Street, Spitalfields, Londonattela in 1724 where she penned The Leader of the Free State (1727). Haunted by the ghost of Margaret Thatcher summoning faith from strategic ornamentation, this was a most radical spiritual manifesto of parlour, dining room, lead piping, drawing room, candlestick, boudoir and wainscoting. Peden’s other grandchildren remained, like contented infants, in the underground city beneath Edinburgh’s plague infested Mary King’s Close. Their shadowy topography is protected by the Collective Gallery’s Regency walls - floorboards creak, fires crackle, young actors play Burke and Hare stripped of any prettiness.

Prophetess Peden-Jervis’ great-great-great grandson Sir Clough Williams-Ellis built Port Merrion, Gwynedd in 1925, a jolly Welsh folly sine qua non, where the English Don Juan designed maisons by mirrors, stalked by purring genus felis, Six of One. Williams-Ellis almost certainly had a weakness for Baroque politics, believing that even if he were reduced to penury himself he ‘would still hope to be cheered by the sight of uninhibited splendour, lavishness, gaiety and cultivated design.’ In 1954, Blackpool Pleasure Beach opened the Haunted Swing. Williams-Ellis painted a mural depicting the Prophetess Peden-Jervis on the wall of the mesmeric ride. She clearly gesticulates toward heaven, shining a glower that condemns those who partake of such Monkie-Tricks and blasphemie. Her sermon still echoes in our ears: ‘yea must be this high tae enter tha Kingdome of Jesus.’

excerpt from curators text Curated by Dr. Neil Mulholland


The Haunted Swing
Kurator: Neil Mulholland

mit Terry Atkinson, Peter Donaldson, Ryan Doolan, Keith Farquhar, Duggie Fields, Michael Fullerton, Ronnie Heeps, Mark Leckey, Keith MacIsaac, Craig Mulholland, David Musgrave, Lee O´Connor, Michal Pechoucek, Alex Pollard, David Shrigley