Stands and Mystics: Abi Palmer and Naomi Morris by Alice Drury

Exploring the link between medieval mysticism, religion, and modern ‘stan-culture’, Abi Palmer and Naomi Morris exercise the view that holy women such as St Teresa of Avila and Julian of Norwich speak to modern day experiences of ecstasy and idolisation of celebrities. Naomi Morris’ reading from ‘Ecstasis’ linked sex addiction with God and drew references to John Berger on the male gaze, touching on the orgasmic response of St Teresa to the light of an angel and the watchful gaze of the marble men surrounding her. While also making connections to St Teresa, Abi Palmer lays a predominant focus on chronic illness and how placing her experience alongside religion “gave them majesty and grace” by looking to medieval mystics to learn more about this challenging aspect of her life. Morris found that in modern day, “spiritually there’s a kind of gap”. She brought the idea that this “gap” is filled with something to obsess over, an idol to romanticise, and while “mystics allowed to have this with God”, modern day media restarts to finding this idol in celebrities, causing ‘stans’ and ‘fandoms’. Palmer observed that “there are scepticisms that mystics were greeted with” reflected in “these teenage girls obsessed with these hero’s”, concerts for pop singers become a kind of religious worship and teenage girls’ bedrooms “create a kind of shrine”.

Previous Post
Ledbury Poetry Competition Winners hosted by Joelle Taylor by Alice Drury
Next Post
Hereford Chamber Choir Presents: “The Dymock Poets re-imagined” a choral interpretation of works by the much loved Dymock Poets by Alice Drury