Lynn Chadwick

Lynn Chadwick at Salisbury Cathedral & Canary Wharf, London

 

Thanks to London’s Osborne Samuel Gallery’s generous long-term loan Lynn Chadwick’s Cloaked Figure IX can now be seen in Salisbury Cathedral Close. It is certainly a fitting tribute to the internationally respected sculptor in a year which marks the hundredth anniversary of his birth.

Cloaked Figure IX (from behind) Lynn Chadwick Salisbury Cathedral  Close  - photo by Ash Mills

Cloaked Figure IX (from behind) Lynn Chadwick Salisbury Cathedral Close – photo by Ash Mills

Dating from the late 1970s this well-known sculpture is one of Chadwick’s series of standing and walking cloaked figures. The Cathedral’s Visual Arts Advisor Jacquiline Creswell said: ‘For me, Cloaked Figure IX, has enormous presence. She evokes images of cardinals and other ecclesiastic figures as she makes her way majestically toward the huge west doors. It is an implied movement, her enveloping, protective cloak swept behind with her pyramidal head held high, surveying her new surroundings. This life-size entity in the Close will be a new member in our rolling arts programme and we are looking forward to opportunities to use this distinctive sculpture as a focus for community engagement.’

Cloaked Figure IX (frontal) Lynn Chadwick Salisbury Cathedral Close - photo by Ash Mills

Cloaked Figure IX (frontal) Lynn Chadwick Salisbury Cathedral Close – photo by Ash Mills

As those of you who read my blogs on the Cathedral in June will gather, they are building up a reputation for displaying visual art both inside and out. As well as Cloaked Figure IX you will discover Helaine Blumenfeld’s  Angels: Harmony on Choristers’ Green; Elizabeth Frink’s Walking Madonna in the churchyard and Emily Young’s Angel Head in the Cloister garth. I shall certainly try and visit this wonderful place again.

www.salisburycathedral.org.uk

http://www.osbornesamuel.com

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 In Canary Wharf’s busy Cabot Square sits Lynn Chadwick’s bronze sculpture ‘Couple on Seat’ and it is no doubt admired by both workers and shoppers as they pass by. From August 19th the statue will be given its own voice as part of the ‘Talking Statues’ project led by Colette Hiller. The Talking Statues initiative animates 35 sculptures in London and Manchester for a year with amusing monologues inspired by the work of art itself.

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How does it work? Well you can swipe your smart phones on a nearby tag and then hear the figures “come to life” with monologues that offer a humorous view on the two sides of a marriage. The voices belong to the well-known British comedians and actors Meera Syal and Sanjeev Bhaskar and the dialogue is written by Nikesh Shukla, author of Meatspace and Coconut Unlimited.

Canary Wharf has one of the UK’s largest collections of public art with over 65 artworks and sculptures which are all free to view.

www.canarywharf.com

The Apostles Speaking in Tongues Lit By Their Own Lamps, Nicholas Pope, Salisbury Cathedral, until 4th August

The Apostles Speaking in Tongues Lit By Their Own Lamps, Nicholas Pope, Salisbury Cathedral, until 4th August.

 

©Peter White

©Peter White

This installation in the Cathedral’s Trinity Chapel consists of thirty-three terracotta figures representing the Apostles and others gathered together when the Holy Spirit descended upon them in the form of tongues of fire.

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©Ash Mills

Pope has identified the Apostles individually by characteristics or attributes. ‘Doubting’ Thomas for example has “trunks” which represent his doubt sucking the life-force out. Each Apostle has a beaten metal “halo” with a circular opening in which an oil lamp can be lit and the resultant flames powerfully evoke the story of Pentecost and the light of God on the other figures around them.

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©Ash Mills

It is very heady stuff and atmospheric and invites contemplation and prayer.

 

They had been shown at Tate Britain in 1996-7 but the artist’s original intention was as he says “I originally conceived the ‘Apostles’ as part of a larger project initiated in the early ‘90s called the Oratory of Heavenly Space.   It was intended as a non-denominational chapel, a place of contemplation without doctrine.  The Apostles were to be the source of light in the chapel, guiding lights as it were and took the form of abstract hollow figures, essentially human, flawed, rough, displaying character, elements of the grotesque and comical.  When the lamps were lit for the first time I felt great.  I knew I’d made something good, something that mattered: self-contained yet belonging to the world.  They felt like the first part of a satisfactory answer addressing both belief and the lack of it”

 

To my mind he has achieved this spectacularly in Salisbury.

 

The Apostles lamps will be lit daily.  Mondays to Saturday, 7.00am – 8.00am, 11.00am – 12 noon and 3.00pm – 4.00pm: Sundays, 12noon – 1.00pm.  A recording of the actress Harriet Walter narrating the story of Pentecost from the Bible will be broadcast whenever the lamps are lit.

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©Ash Mills

www.salisburycathedral.org.uk.

Sanctuary, John Maine RA, Salisbury Cathedral, until 23rd July

Sanctuary, John Maine RA, Salisbury Cathedral, until 23rd July.

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©Ash Mills

 

 

Salisbury Cathedral is such a special place and because it was built in 38 years (1220-1258) is, unlike other English medieval cathedrals, in just one architectural style – early English Gothic. The tower and spire were added fifty years later and, by the way, the spire at 123 metres is the country’s tallest.

©Ash Mill

©Ash Mills

Although the ‘Sanctuary’ installations around and within the Cathedral were not my main purpose in visiting the Cathedral it was a welcome feature as I had very much enjoyed Maine’s exhibition ‘After Cosmati’ at the Royal Academy in 2011. The theme of the exhibition is the idea of “sanctuary” in its various forms and indeed the visitor is tempted to touch or even sit on some of them. They give a sense of permanence and stillness.

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©Ash Mills

Sarah Mullally, (Canon Treasurer and Chairman of the Cathedral’s Exhibitions Committee), says “Salisbury Cathedral is testament to the beauty of stone both in its strength and its ability to portray detail.  The crafts men and women who built this wonderful building did so to enable us to journey with them to the heavens. John Maine’s sculptures both complement and provide a contrast to the stone of the Cathedral and the landscape of the Cathedral Close.  The pieces seek to bring us on a journey not just heavenwards but, like any good labyrinth, inwards; quieting the mind and stilling the heart.  Maybe it is here that we encounter sanctuary in a busy world.”

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©Ash Mills

www.salisburycathedral.org.uk