Earlier this summer Dr Sibylle Erle, Reader in English Literature and RKEU Literature and Literacies, collaborated with artist Marina White Raven (London) and musician Ana-Cristina Perez (Mexico City) in an online event that sought to venture beyond death’s limitation and make contact with the artistic genius of William Blake (1757-1827).

“[Blake] died on Sunday night at six o’clock, in a most glorious manner. He said he was going to that country he had all his life wished to see, and expressed himself happy, hoping for salvation through Jesus Christ. Just before he died his countenance became fair, his eyes brightened, and he burst out into singing of the things he saw in heaven.” (Gilchrist ([1907] 1998, 382)

Blake told his wife Catherine that “‘they would not be parted; he would always be about her to take care of her.’” (381)

For Blake, life and death weren’t opposites; they were connected as two states of being.

Titled 'The Sick Rose’ (Encountering Blake) the event saw Marina White Raven, who had immersed herself in Blake’s works, creating a performance seeking to reach into the afterlife; channelling Blake's spirit and bringing him into life.

The live performance, now available to view on YouTube, was introduced by Dr Erle who is a recognised Blake scholar.

Dr Sibylle Erle, who works on monsters, death and Blake, will teach on MA Children's Literature and Literacies to start in September 2021.

If you’d like to share your projects from the summer we’d like to hear about them. Contact marketingteam@bishopg.ac.uk with the details.

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