England’s Cathedrals host works of art ranging from Sheffield steel to a model moon | Art
From 18,000 paper doves hanging from 15 miles of ribbon in Liverpool to a moonlit model of the moon in Bristol and a celebration of steel in Sheffield, the recently reopened Cathedrals of England host an eclectic range of art installations this summer.
Cathedrals have exhibited art in their cavernous spaces for years, while also hosting huddles, skating rinks, company dinners, Christmas parties and concerts, in order to attract visitors and collect funds. funds to help pay their astronomical maintenance bills.
But this summer, after 16 months of closures and restrictions, cathedral art has reached an impressive level. “This is a great opportunity to rub shoulders with our visitors and the things that tickle their imagination, what they hope and believe in,” said The Right Reverend Adrian Dorber, President of the Association of English Cathedrals.
The large installations “look great in the uncluttered space and the magnificent setting of our cathedrals”. And after repeated lockdowns, there was a “certain pushback”, a thirst for art and exhibitions, he added.
In 800-year-old Lichfield Cathedral, where Dorber is the dean, an immersive light and sound installation celebrating science and scientists will open this month. The Great Exhibition: Science is “a fun, engaging and awe-inspiring celebration of all that science has accomplished in history,” said Dorber.
Luke Jerram’s Moon Museum, featuring detailed images of the lunar surface by NASA, will be on display at Bristol Cathedral in the second half of August, and later in the year at Wells Cathedral and Bath Abbey. The artist’s Gaia installation, a 7-meter (23-foot) replica of Earth from an astronaut’s perspective, was at Ely Cathedral until last week and opens at the Cathedral from Wakefield on August 20.
In Exeter, Density and Lightness presents 75 sculptures by 24 artists inside and outside the cathedral, in stone, wood, ceramic, bronze, plaster and glass. Along with the exhibition, workshops, dance performances and artistic tours are organized.
“The power of the art to speak to us at important times in our lives should never be underestimated as we emerge from severe restrictions and impacts on normal life,” said Canon Treasurer Reverend Canon Mike Williams from the cathedral. The works include four enormous sculptures that appear to float beneath the cathedral’s medieval vaulted ceiling.
Peace Doves, an installation by Peter Walker at Liverpool Cathedral, features approximately 18,000 paper doves suspended 15.5 miles of ribbon from the cathedral’s roof, accompanied by a soundscape by composer David Harper.
In Sheffield, the Cathedral celebrates the city’s iron and steel heritage with The Foundry, an exhibition that incorporates footage from Pathé archival films and contemporary steel artwork. “The people working in the Sheffield steelworks will have loved it here, been baptized here, got married here and been buried here,” said Reverend Canon Keith Farrow, Deputy Dean. The exhibit “reflects on the history of this great city and how the actions and lives of people of the past shaped the way we live our lives today.”
Making Tracks, a 22-meter-long miniature railway crossing the nave of Chester Cathedral created by record producer Pete Waterman and a group of “railnuts”, also celebrates human achievements. The exhibition highlights the work of Thomas Brassey, a Chester-born civil engineer who in 1847 had built a third of the railways in Britain.
Norwich Cathedral is hosting Dippy, the Natural History Museum’s 26-meter Diplodocus cast, until the end of October, a visit postponed from last summer. Dippy shares the nave with the clergy, choristers and worshipers during services in the nine-century-old cathedral.