Revelation Visual magic at billesley

When I arrived on a mellowing October dawn the sun, in acute relief, ignited the countryside for a brief period.
The landscape an explosion of colour, the church in the copse - the touchpaper
Lodged within the light box that is the south transept at All Saints', Billesley are two pieces of carved stone from former times
The first is a tympanum, beautifully carved, depicting a man being chased by evil (a serpent dragon) and moving towards the Holy Spirit (a dove).
Beneath such intricate and embroidered beauty lay a lump of stone which, in the half light of the early morning, didn't amount to much in terms of visual allure.
I could just make out the linear outline of a pattern
Later on in the day when the sun had swung low and hard to the west, my lump of stone took on a completely different aspect.
As the sunlight eddied through the Georgian glass of the bulls eye window, and crept along the face of the stone, a revelation took place
And it dawned upon me
This is how the originators must have meant their carvings to be seen
Firstly in the darkness
..and then suddenly exposed in relief - a piece of visual magic combining skill, time and light.
Not only this - but as I watched - the pattern swayed and eddied. And with the movement of the light, different parts lit up, whilst others disappeared.
An Anglo-Saxon study in time and motion
Only a mindset with such a different gearing of time could have created such a thing. Time on a different level.
Our appreciation of such art has now been lost with our quick-fire world and racing minds.
We stand for a moment and see the hard tooled stone, without really seeing.
I sat for an hour and watched - completely taken by the moment - sinking into timelessness that I had not experienced before.
A full hour felt like the blink of an eye.
And when the light was gone - my mind shifted gear from their world back to ours.
Andy Marshall is an award winning architectural photographer based in the UK

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