In QAN's September Newsletter: * Reflections on Echo Chamber exhibition * Upcoming events *
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Quaker Arts Network Newsletter, September 2016
Visitors to Echo Chamber in The Light experiencing the exhibition (photo courtesy the artist, Fiona Meadley). To read Fiona's reflections on the project and the exhibition itself, please visit her blog at To see a video of Echo Chamber at Friends House, visit

Want to see your artwork in this space? Please email a high-quality .jpg image (at least 600 x 800 pixels) to, including your name and contact information, as well as any facts about the piece you'd like to share with QAN members. 

Impressions of Echo Chamber in The Light

Between 18 August and 2 September, QAN mounted its second major exhibition in The Light at Friends House. The piece chosen for this year's exhibition was Fiona Meadley's Echo Chamber, a sound and visual installation dealing with war and pacifism in the context of WWI. During the 15 days of the exhibition, 888 visitors came to The Light to experience the artwork. Collected below are some of their comments and impressions (presented anonymously) -- we hope you will enjoy reading them. 

"Really moving – to see my family history as part of a great exhibition. How actions echo across generations."  

"My grandfather’s voice is still whispering from beneath the bandages."  

"Really interesting exhibition – spurred me to find out more about my grandfather – also a CO in WWI." 

"A great memorial.  The FAU well represented. The modern reference to Syria so appropriate."  

"I find it so interesting seeing the echo of my great grandfather’s experience. After the war he was taken in by Quakers who ran a nursery where he learned all his horticultural skills, which have passed down our family. Finding the extraordinary in the ordinary." 

"My husband was a CO in WWII. Found this moving."  

"Fascinating and moving – my grandfather and friends were COs – some ambulance corps, some imprisoned." 

"Did some research on my family’s history about WW1 and am glad to see an exhibition about COs."  (Germany)

"Very thought provoking. My granddad wanted to be a CO in WWII but was unable to find the courage and had many regrets. He was a socialist who believed that German workers were just the same as him." 

"Very thought provoking and meaningful but simple exhibition.  I found the overlapping voices disturbing." 

"Very thought provoking for one who struggles with 'pacifism.'"

"Physically difficult and demanding, mentally thought- provoking and moving."  

"A moving and totally unexpected experience."  

"This needs to be seen and heard by all." (New Zealand)

"Moving words, particularly the young Israeli!"

"Very thoughtful presentation. Great interviews. Loved the typewriter detail."  

"Made me think of the courage needed to choose peace."  (Argentina)

"This was a refreshing stop although the subject was war.  This gave faces to things and was humane. It’s sad. Hope peace will last."  (Finland)

"It takes bravery to say no."  (Canada)

"Uncommon act of aural witnessing, deserving of rapt attention and compassionate honouring."  (Canada)

"What an eye opener. Thank you. Enjoyed it."  (Malaysia)

"A very simple but very impressive installation to remember people that stood up against war."  (Germany)

"Thank you for an incredible experience and letting these voices be heard in this wonderful space and stillness.  Echo Chamber is brilliant creative idea carried out amazingly with sound, text, photos and the structure itself."  

"Surprised by how deeply moving I found the sound installation. Sat in the pool of light in the centre of chamber listening to voices from across the century. Thank you for the contemporary speakers – an important reminder – and tug at my own conscience – that there are many people involved (directly and indirectly) in violent conflict around the world. Struggling to hear those voices does not mean they should be quieter, we should listen to them above the noises of our world today."

"What a good way to express and share these experiences. Very evocative of individual and collective histories, that are so seldom heard. Very relevant to our times too."

"This is the most profoundly moving exhibition on conscientious objection I have ever experienced. It was felt more deeply by being able to sit with eyes closed while listening."

Family members of one of the conscientious objectors highlighted in Echo Chamber are shown visiting the exhibition.

Quaker Arts Network Announcements, Autumn 2016
  • Spirit & Place, 1-9 October, Wandsworth MH: An exhibition of art works by local Quakers, responding to their Quaker experience and to this historic Meeting House and burial ground. Wandsworth Quaker Meeting House, 59 Wandsworth High Street, London SW18 2PT. Free; all welcome. A number of special events will be happening during the course of the exhibition, including "meet the artist" times; information is available at Opening times will vary from day to day; please see the website for details.
  • QAN hopes to have details about a call for entries for a corridor exhibition at Friends House in Spring 2017 available very soon; please look out for it on our website.
  • William Blake Society drawing contest:
    As you know, one of our great religious artists was William Blake (1757-1827). The Blake Society was founded over 30 years ago and each year we give a prize to encourage the work of the imagination. This year the grant is for drawing and the amount is £524, the judge is Jeremy Deller and the deadline is 1 November.

    Please send your Friendly, arts-related news and announcements to for inclusion in the next newsletter. Also check the events calendar at for upcoming exhibitions and events, and to publicise your own!
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