Prayer Meeting (Windermere)


John Kippin
John Kippin uses photography to interrogate the ways in which the pictorial landscape is constructed and perceived. He explores the idea of the landscape as a palimpsest, which is continuously being overwritten and changed to represent contemporary concerns within society, politics and culture. Kippin is also interested in commenting on our relationships with our environment and surroundings, together with constructing visual interpretations of the past. His work Prayer Meeting, Windermere (1992) captures a gathering of Muslims in the Lake District. In this image, Kippin challenges traditional depictions of the quintessentially British countryside by framing it within contemporary culture, and documenting social and environmental change.
  • Artwork Details: 76 x 71cm
  • Edition: 3 of 25
  • Material description: Pigment print
  • Credit line: © the artist
  • Theme: Undefined
  • Medium: Photograph
  • Accession number: ACC20/2017

Explore this Artwork

In 2020 a group of refugees and asylum seekers worked together with Firstsite staff and Refugee Action Colchester to curate My name is not Refugee, an exhibition featuring works from the Arts Council Collection.

Alongside the exhibition, the group of curators worked with poet Laila Sumpton to write poetry in response to the artworks that were chosen.

The following poem was written a member of the group in response to ‘Prayer Meeting in Windermere’ (1992) by John Kippin. 

Find more poems and more here.

By anonymous

The women inhabit the English countryside in sharp relief
Their laundered purity inhabits the air with the rhythmic humming of their prayers.
Who are these women who invade me with a happiness that makes my hairs stand on end?
They create their own landscape of unity in a world of seasons and change
It seems clear why they are here
But where did they come from?
Does it matter?
I thank them for the memories
Of family pinics,
Crisp dresses made with love,
First holy Communion and church processions
And join with them in the intonation of their prayers


The Arts Council Collection is the UK's most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art.

With more than 8,000 works by over 2,000 artists, it can be seen in exhibitions and public displays across the country and beyond. This website offers unprecedented access to the Collection, and information about each work can be found on this site.