Carved with Love - The Genius of British Woodwork: The Divine Craft of Carpentry
The final film in the series reveals the virtuosity of medieval ecclesiastic woodwork, and suggests that much of this art form was damaged or destroyed during the Reformation in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
The programme traces the sacred history of wood back to the Druids, and their worship of trees, before showing how wood and carpentry continued to have spiritual resonance for Christians in the Middle Ages, most notably in the form of the Tree of Knowledge and the crucifixion. It also shows how older pagan beliefs persisted even within great Christian places of worship as ‘Green Men’, uncanny faces carved to merge with foliage.
Learn how medieval carvers and carpenters transformed wood, primarily oak, into astonishing objects and interiors, including rood screens, font covers, carved bench ends and misericords, as part of the worship of God. The film also explores how some of the finest woodwork of the Middle Ages was used to political effect and reiterated the divinity of royal power, as in the magnificent freestanding ‘hammer-beam’ roof at Westminster Hall, designed by Hugh Herland during the reign of Richard II.
Contributors to the programme include V&A curators, as well as other experts including Richard Taylor, Janina Ramirez, John Goodall and James Robinson, and contemporary woodcarvers.