Tho I Am But Small
I Will Be Heard Among You All


The project title, Tho I Am But Small I Will Be Heard Among You All, is taken from the inscription on a 17th century church bell discovered by Andrew Dodds during his research into Kent's social traditions of Change Ringing.

Historically, the civic, non-ecclesiastical uses of bells crossed the boundaries between public and private life, often by adopting a vernacular, coded language of peals (Stahlschmidt, 1887). Among different cultures and societies, significant meanings of bell peals have ranged from marking labour time, to warning of danger and impending natural disaster, to calls to assemble and bear arms (Corbin, 1999).

The artist has created a call-and-response between neighbouring bell towers to be performed at 8pm, the traditional time of the Curfew peal. The Curfew was initially introduced as a repressive measure to curb simmering social unrest, however, the peal's meaning evolved over time, at one point being understood as a wayfaring beacon for those lost in the landscape. The site of the project, Milton Creek, is included in the Thames Gateway Regeneration Project, a major development impacting communities and landscapes across south east England.

Blurring the boundaries between meanings of the Curfew peal, twelve Change Ringers drawn from surrounding communities will assemble to re-engage with the craft's intricate social history and powerful links to civic society. Today, the bells' volume and their reach across the landscape is masked by urban noise, surrounding buildings and environmental conditions.

Tho I Am But Small I Will Be Heard Among You All acknowledges the contemporary challenges to, and fracturing of, shared mobilisation and civic interaction. And yet, the project simultaneously seeks to re-engage with the historic potential for collective action inherent in Change Ringing, in an attempt at somehow impacting upon the present.

To accompany the sound event a range of historical and contemporary material on Change Ringing, including books and instructional pamphlets, will be displayed in Holy Trinity Parish Hall.

Change ringers in Holy Trinity belfry


Andrew Dodds is a Northern Irish artist now based in London.
He is particularly noted for his context-specific works exploring our social and political relationship with ‘nature’, the voice, and the shared potentialities of public space. He consistently engages and acknowledges others in the imagining, production and reception of his artwork. He uses a range of artistic strategies and media including sound, video, installation and existing artefacts.
Dodds' work is exhibited and commissioned widely at major public galleries, artist-run spaces and non-gallery sites including BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, UK, Azad Art Gallery, Tehran, TULCA, Ireland, Grizedale Arts, UK and Gallery 400, Chicago.

Art at the Centre is a pioneering scheme funded by Swale Borough Council, Arts Council South East and Kent County Council. It seeks to embed creativity within regeneration practice across the region, engaging artists to develop projects and community events in the heart of key projects across the Borough. Art at the Centre aims to contribute to regeneration teams that cut across Council departments, as well as the public, private and voluntary sectors, with a belief that sustainable regeneration needs to invest in people as much as places. Previous and forthcoming artists include Adam Chodzko, Andrew Dodds, Lucy Harrison, and Heather and Ivan Morison.

Project kindly supported by:

Arts Council England, Kent County Council, Swale Borough Council.

Thanks to Bernard Fagg, John McCabe, all of the participating Change Ringers, Holy Trinity Church and Bobbing Church.