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About the Work

Herman's Sermons shows my father Herman Grylls in the 1950s as he cycles out, with me as his passenger, to take Sunday services at village churches on the Nottinghamshire/ Lincolnshire border. Herman was a lay reader in the Church of England who first delivered these sermons during World War 2 when the villages he visited were surrounded by Lancaster bomber bases. By the time I had joined him on these visits in the 1950s, the bases had become home to the British nuclear deterrent, making this English backwater an important Soviet target.

Throughout both decades, Herman used the same thoughtfully composed and beautifully written sermons to provide comfort to his parishioners. Yet I personally felt trapped between a heaven that could bring destruction, and a hell that pulled strongly from below.

Forty years after his death, I photocopied and collaged together Herman's sermons, long stored away unread, to create this elegy to a man more faithful and trusting than I.

″I still use the same approach to my work: I get an idea, think of the title and then make the work. So not much has changed since 1964″

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