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Oyinkansola Akande

MA work

Religious textiles of Western European Christianity are still understood as tools with which the episcopates sought to bring the entire faith under a uniform image and diffuse an understanding of the role and power of the Church. The objects, however, tell a more complex story. These textiles were embedded in competitive cultures as lay gifts and bequests both within and outside of the Church. They were intercessory objects and were inscribed and discharged under pervasive beliefs in Purgatory and in their ability to act on the behalf of their donors. These objects, additionally, came to convey the power and network of those who gifted them. They were utilitarian, social and political objects that established and displayed corporate and familial identity and relationships. Alongside their popular religious imagery, they had inscribed unto them a secular visual language that made communicable the aspirations and memories of their donors.


This research attempts to evidence these practices as pervasive, cutting across the social strata of the last century of the pre-Reformation period. Taking the social groupings of the parish, the livery company and the royal household,  it investigates these social and spatial communities as contributing to and maintaining the importance of these objects. The Church legitimised these objects, but it was their visibility within these aforementioned communities that provided their importance for late medieval figures. Rather than distant and inaccessible objects, these textiles were intimately connected to the sense of self of individuals and groups and were a way by which they could claim prominence and permanence.

Info

  • MA Degree

    School

    School of Humanities

    Programme

    MA History of Design, 2017

  • My research interests centre on the significance of material identity. Regarding the 1400s for its potent evidence, in Western Europe, of ritualised use of objects to articulate individual and communal identity, my work is concerned with visually communicable identity and pervasive semantic range.

    My dissertation investigates religious textiles of Western European Christianity, which are still understood as tools with which the episcopates sought to bring the entire faith under a uniform image and diffuse an understanding of the role and power of the Church. The objects, however, tell a more complex story. These textiles were embedded in competitive cultures as lay gifts and bequests both within and outside of the Church. They were intercessory objects and were inscribed and discharged under pervasive beliefs in Purgatory and in their ability to act on the behalf of their donors. These objects, additionally, came to convey the power and network of those who gifted them. They were utilitarian, social and political objects that established and displayed corporate and familial identity and relationships. Alongside their popular religious imagery, they had inscribed unto them a secular visual language that made communicable the aspirations and memories of their donors.

    This research attempts to evidence these practices as pervasive, cutting across the social strata of the last century of the pre-Reformation period. Taking the social groupings of the parish, the livery company and the royal household,  it investigates these social and spatial communities as contributing to and maintaining the importance of these objects. The Church legitimised these objects, but it was their visibility within these aforementioned communities that provided their importance for late medieval figures. Rather than distant and inaccessible objects, these textiles were intimately connected to the sense of self of individuals and groups and were a way by which they could claim prominence and permanence.


  • Degrees

  • BA English Language and Literature, King's College London, 2015
  • Experience

  • Contributor, Europe & Me, Belgium, 2016-present; Features editor, Thandiekay.com, London, 2016-2017; Contributor, Syrup Magazine, London, 2017; Contributor, Thestylehq.com, 2017; Editorial assistant (Internship) & Contributor, Wallpaper*, London, 2016; Researcher (Internship), African Presidential Centre, Boston, 2014