Moving exhibition in Mayfield

ST DUNSTAN’S CHURCH, Mayfield became an art gallery last Saturday.

During an open day, visitors admired an installation created from about a thousand hand-thrown ceramic tear vessels which drifted through the church.

They were all different shapes and sizes and made from clay.

They were inspired by small vessels used in ancient times to collect tears as a mark of respect during mourning and symbolise the emotions of joy, love, sorrow and remembrance.

Tear bottles date back to the times of King David, born in 1055 BC, who made reference to collecting tears in his prayers to God.

Organisers say the gift of a tear bottle is an acknowledgement our losses as well as our achievements such as births, deaths, anniversaries, graduations and other rites of passage.

They quoted Washington Irving who said: “There is a sacredness in tears. They are not a mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition and of unspeakable love.”