The Art of Worship

Altar Crucifix (detail), carving in oak (Martin Earle, 2021)

The Art of Worship is an innovative artist residency, taking place within the heart of the 940 year-old living place of worship.

Chichester Cathedral has a long history of seeking the face of God in visual form, from the twelfth century Chichester Reliefs, the murals of Lambert Barnard in the sixteenth century, through to the contemporary work of Artists Ursula Benker-Schirmer, John Piper and Graham Sutherland.

Aidan Hart, Martin Earle, and James Blackstone, are three leading British liturgical Artists, who will be undertaking the residency within a custom-built studio in the Cathedral’s North Transept until March 2022. All three draw on the same spiritual wells as the Cathedral’s first builders and employ many of the same techniques, including egg tempera, fresco, water gilding, carving, and hand-cut glass mosaic.

Visitors to the Cathedral will be invited to observe these timeless, intricate techniques in the setting of a busy working studio. Martin Earle will be at work on a crucifix for the Beda College in Rome and James Blackstone will be making a mosaic of St Dominic for Chichester Cathedral.

Accompanying the residency will be a lecture series from James Blackstone on the spiritual senses and liturgical art, as well as a study day with the three Artists and the Cathedral’s Canon Chancellor, the Reverend Dr Daniel Inman, exploring the theology and process of commissioning liturgical art.

Image: Altar Crucifix (detail), carving in oak (Martin Earle, 2021)