An English Songline

A painting journey from Cornwall to East Anglia


An English Song Line

An English Song Line - by JAG Maw

Click here to download the article as a PDF.
All images on this website are copyright 2015 Luke Piper


An English Songline (2015)


"In his most recent work, Luke Piper is exploring the powerful linkage between ancient belief and the physical landscape. It is an idea that is both urgent and elemental - and one that, as his experience in the Aboriginal lands of Australia has revealed, goes right to the heart of all human traditions. Specifically he follows that enigmatic line which crosses southern England, joining sites dedicated respectively to St Mary and St Michael. The lines' energies have left in their wake an impressive collection of sacred sites - from the stones and earthworks of the late Neolithic to hill-top churches and hidden-away chapels. More recently those same energies have coursed through the rods of a thousand latter-day dowsers. From these paintings, they have clearly done something similar and equally spectacular to the pens and brushes of Luke Piper."

Philip Marsden


The exhibition shows paintings generated at more than 100 sites across England, following the Michael and Mary currents.


These currents were recorded across southern England by author Paul Broadhurst and author/dowser Hamish Miller in their book, The Sun and the Serpent. (Pendragon Press, 1989) and they weave around the central Michael alignment


For further background details, please click a link below:



Sacred Landscape

The St. Michael Alignment

The Michael & Mary Currents

(Arnhem Land Australia)

(Joseph of Arimethea, Steinbeck, Churches & Songlines)

(Malkgulumbu, Lake Titicaca, Glastonbury, Dragons & the City of Lions)



The Michael alignment is a straight line (or slightly curved, taking in to account the curvature of the Earth) linking places dedicated to the archangel Michael. These are often high places symbolising a connection with the sun, light or enlightenment. It passes through Southern England on its passage around the world. The painting locations themselves have all been completed at points along the Michael and Mary currents.


The Michael Alignment Map

World Map

English Songline Illustration Map



(Google maps link)

(Google maps link)

(Click image to view over 100 paintings)

(Click image to view catalogue)


St Michael, the archangel, brings light, enlightenment, and as the saint of high places, is symbolically connected with the shrines, temples, and churches aligned along the azimuth of the rising Beltane sun.


"...these paintings are about recording places along the route but not just as they would appear to a camera lens. For me, all these places, recognised throughout human time, have a spirit or wild energy. Whether urban or rural, churches or hill-forts, ruins or roads they are places where the force of life itself should be feared or revered. This draws us to these special places and along paths between them. It is this wild energy, shining through and radiating that I attempt to depict, represented as light. In most I use the white of the paper or canvas to represent the feeling of energies, radiating, glowing almost ghostlike from the subject in a manner that reminds me of the halo around the Saints' and Christ's image in churches and the corona around the sun itself.
The paintings also illustrate the movement, flow and channeling of this Michael and Mary currents. Through composition, structure and in the growth of vegetation, the flow is seen to be channeled to and from buildings, across fields and along hollow ways..."


Limited edition prints available

A series of five signed and numbered prints have been made by the artist. These can be ordered via email and can be posted with a window mount, backboard and film wrap ready for framing. (If required framed prints can also be delivered or collected from the studio). Please enquire via email to The prints are versions of the original paintings. They come with a signed certificate of authenticity and information about the image and its connection to the English Songline Journey.

Process: Archival digital giclée on artists Aquarelle Arches paper created by Charles Howell at Fine Digital Print and artist proofed by me. Edition size: 100. (dimensions denote image size only, the Paper size is larger due to the paper border around the image).