On this page, we chart some of the key processes involved in bringing Finding Blake to life so far. Coming soon: a look ahead to some of the key milestones over the next few months.
Finding Blake Timeline
January 2018 – Our Crowdfunder Campaign Closes
James set up the campaign in November 2017, raising the core funding to enable filming of Lida Kindersley cutting the new Blake gravestone, and for interviews to begin. (Our Crowdfunder is closed, but you can still help fund the project’s later phases through Donate slider in our sidebar!)
February 2018 – Interviews begin
James visits the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford to interview poet and author David Whyte – and, as a bonus, films David performing Blake’s poem, The Garden of Love.
March 2018 – Lettercutting begins
Lida draws the letters onto the stone, showing for the first time the new tribute to William Blake, including these lines from Blake’s last prophetic book, Jerusalem, The Emanation of the Giant Albion:
I give you the end of a golden string, Only wind it into a ball: It will lead you in at Heavens gate, Built in Jerusalem’s wall.
April 2018 – Visualising the new grave
Here’s a taster of what’s happening with William Blake’s grave: this clip shows the current memorial stone in situ, as it has been for about 50 years, and then we see the first sight of Lida Kindersley’s drawn letters on the new stone, in location in her workshop in Cambridge. This shot was filmed on the day the Blake Society committee members came to approve the letters and gave her the green light to cut them.
With grateful thanks to wonderful musician Chris Wood for allowing us to use the opening of his arrangement of Jerusalem (available on his 2013 album, None the Wiser).
April 2018 – Testament on Blake
For the original Finding Blake Crowdfunder campaign, James spoke with rapper and beatboxer Testament in London on his passion for Blake. We wanted to share this moment again, and posted it on the site in April. Filmed in an alleyway off Leicester Square with the sights, sounds and smells of central London in our faces, Testament’s passion for Blake and the inspiration he has gained from studying him shines through.
April 2018 – Bevelling the stone
James filmed Lida’s son, Vince Kindersley, for a day as he hand-bevelled the stone. The whole painstaking process took a week to complete. “At the workshop they pride themselves on doing most jobs by hand instead of using machinery for this kind of work. This marks the Kindersley workshop out for its care and craft, and joy in engagement with the material in hand. As well as the sight of Vince’s technique, I hope I’ve captured some of the rhythm and cadences of the sound of the work, combined with other sounds from the workshop…”
June 2018 – Exclusive readings from Blake
Finding Blake launches a series of eight short video posts featuring readings of some of Blake’s poems by actor Matt Ray Brown. In this exclusive series was filmed and sound recorded by Finding Blake’s Jonnie Howard in Blake’s flat in South Molton Street – so they are being read probably in the very place they were written!
July 2018 – The cutting is complete