The High Wasteland Representing Gawain & the Green Knight

A project by: Michael Eden


WE RAISED £1,000

from 2 donors

An exhibition of historic and contemporary responses to Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

I am an artist and researcher at Middlesex University, my artist website can be viewed here, and examples of my journalistic writing can be seen here. I have agreed various contributions from artists to show work in a group exhibition and need funding for a space and transport costs.

The Concept

My proposal is for an exhibition of historic and contemporary visual art that has responded to or illustrated the medieval poem, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. There is a renewed interest around this due to an upcoming (May 2020) high profile film, The Green Knight (2020) directed by David Patrick Lowery who is one of the contributors of work to the show.  

                                        Gawain Sleeping in Armour (2019)

Furthermore the environmental, political, gender and race issues that the poem explores are germane to our own troubled time. My own research and art practice considers the poem as an anti-fascistic exploration of subjectivity that anticipates the layered modern subject and encourages an opening up to the 'other'. I have agreed work from David Patrick Lowery (Dir of The Green Knight); Clive Hicks Jenkins (created prints for Simon Armitage's translation); Penelope Woolfitt (custodian of Dorothea Braby's estate who provided an acclaimed 1952 text with its images); Neil Parkinson (head of collections at the Royal Collage where there are prints from artists working in the 1950's); Michael Smith (print-maker who has illustrated various versions of the text); David Treloar RAC (a contemporary fine artist); Graeme Spurr (sound artist), Natalie Andrews (artist who makes large paintings and sculptural works) and of course my own work regarding this subject consisting of fine art 3d constructions and painting.

                                        Temporal Landscape (2020)

I have agreed written contributions from Dr Mary Wellesley (British library expert and published author/medievalist) as well as my own writing on this topic to form an exhibition booklet.

I have also agreed publicity with Trebuchet Magazine (Kailas Elmer) regarding the show and artwork therein.

                                         Tyro-Knight I (2020)

The basic concept is that the prints and illustrations provides a context or language while the contemporary fine art practices provide a greater exploratory approach highlighting the progressive aspects of the literature; while overall the exhibition brings the contemporary relevance of the poem to a modern audience.

                                                                                                                               - Michael Eden

Your Donation 

This exhibition will be open to and free to the public; the main costs incurred in this kind of project are for a display space and for transport costs of getting the work of participants to and from their destinations. Display space for five days in a London Gallery costs between £1500-£4500 with an emphasis on the more expensive end. Two commercial spaces under consideration are the Hoxton Arches and the Truman Brewery but various others are also under consideration. 

                                        Tyro-Knight II

If I raise the full amount of the funding, this will facilitate the printing of an exhibition booklet which will feature images of artwork from the show and written contributions reflecting on the poem. Costs include:

  • Gallery hire
  • Transport Costs (van hire)
  • Display costs (display cases, plinths, fixings and tools)
  • Publication Costs (layout and printing)
  • Marketing.

For anybody interested in the progress of the project, I will be providing news updates on my website - go to dialogue tab. These will feature under the heading 'The High Wasteland'. Further to this, if you would like to make contact, you can find details under 'contacts & links'. As the exhibition aims to be open for 4-5 days there will an opportunity for many people to see the work and take away an exhibition booklet.  

                                      Dagonet or Arthur's Fool (2019)


The exhibition aims to bring together an eclectic group of people and work including those working with; painting, 3d construction, printmaking and film. All of whom have responded to this important work of English literature. We are celebrating the importance and skill of the original; the illustrations and prints that represent the established visual language and the established and emerging artists who explore the layered meaning.


*The images displayed here are from my work.