The East Sussex Medieval Graffiti Survey (ESMGS) is run with the same structure as the Norfolk Medieval Graffiti Project (NMGS). The aim is to survey all of the East Sussex churches that contain medieval fabric to support our understanding about the way parishioners worshipped in and interacted with their church.
ESMGS is run by volunteers, using the same recording methods as NMGS to achieve consistency throughout the recording as well as the highest professional standards. It is hoped that all the photographs and records from the rapidly growing number of county surveys will feed into a national database.
About the Project
In January 2010 a systematic survey of graffiti began of Norfolk churches with the quantity of graffiti and range of subject matter proving to be far greater than ever imagined.
Surveys are generally carried out in two stages. Firstly, the church is visited to assess the volume of graffiti and time needed to undertake the full survey.
The basic technique used in a full survey involves the use of bright lamps shone parallel or near parallel to a surface. This is known as a ‘raking light’ technique; the same principle is used in art world to reveal a painting’s surface texture. The presence of graffiti is accentuated by the shadow effect created, enabling it to be photographed, and its location recorded. A full survey can take two or three full days if there is a large quantity of graffiti present.