School of Divinity

'Helen Sutherland and David Jones: "orts, scraps and fragments"'

Illustration of David Jones, ‘Artists Worktable’,1929, from the Helen Sutherland collection
David Jones, "Artist's Worktable," (1929), Private Collection.

The same year that Helen Sutherland, a patron of rare discernment, moved into Rock Hall, near Alnwick, she met David Jones. At Rock, which Jones often visited, and at Cockley Moor after Sutherland moved to Cumbria, Jones fashioned art in which recognisable details move and float in a seemingly timeless domain. His need to find the action that suited a poetic need , whether making a still-life or a landscape, matched the exacting perfection that Sutherland brought to her management of everyday life. Influenced by Jones, she  remained an Anglican but drew closer to the Catholic tradition. She became a major supporter of both  Jones’s art and writing, and at Rock and afterwards at Cockley Moor created a way of life inspired by Charles Peguy’s words: "Everything was an event, a sacred event. Everything was a tradition, a lesson, everything was bequeathed…. Everything was an inner elevation and a prayer". Frances Spalding's  lecture will focus on this deep and lasting, but also largely unexplored, friendship. 

This lecture, sponsored by the Scottish Network for Religion and Literature and the Literature and Religion research group in the University of Bergen, will take place in Room G.02, 50 George Square and also online. Please register for your preferred format using the corresponding link:

Register | In-Person

Register | Online

Frances Spalding

Frances Spalding is an art historian and cultural historian, also a biographer and critic.  Her books are listed on her website and she is currently working towards on a book on Helen Sutherland and David Jones.

Frances Spalding's website

May 26 2022 -

'Helen Sutherland and David Jones: "orts, scraps and fragments"'

A hybrid lecture titled 'Helen Sutherland and David Jones: "orts, scraps and fragments"' delivered by Frances Spalding

Room G.02, 50 George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9LH