Resilience in Clay

Chichester Cathedral presents its summer exhibition, Resilience in Clay, a collection of sculptural works from the artist Kate Viner.

Through developing this new body of work, celebrating human diversity and resilience, the artist has sought to bring Chichester residents together to explore different cultural values, faiths, and build connections.

The exhibition comprises seven sculptural portraits. Each of the subjects are connected by the fact that they are building a new life in Chichester, some having found refuge from persecution based on conflict and religious, social and or ethnic discrimination. 

On top of seeing the sculptures on display within Chichester’s 940 year old Cathedral, visitors will have the opportunity to view the sitters' own responses to the work, in their first languages, through hand embroidered pieces.

Since 2019 Kate, an artist who exhibits internationally, has been working with local charity Sanctuary in Chichester to produce creative opportunities for asylum seekers and refugees in the Chichester District.

Kate said: "This exhibition at Chichester Cathedral enables us to explore the values of cultural diversity and human resilience, within the context of the Cathedral’s rich tradition of using art to inspire higher thoughts.  As a co-founder of Article 12 Arts, and working alongside Sanctuary, I have met new people, built new relationships and been inspired by both community connections and human resilience. 

The Cathedral’s Canon Chancellor, the Reverend Dr Daniel Inman, said: “The human face in sculpture has always invited the contemplation, not just of the individual portrayed, but of humanity itself. Acting as a kind of mirror, they speak to us of the uniqueness of every individual, bearing the image of God. As such, Resilience in Clay challenges the dehumanising and harmful rhetoric that is currently invoked about some of those seeking sanctuary in our nation, inviting us to ponder our shared humanity with those who have taken shelter in our city.”

Resilience in Clay will be on show from 12th June – 31st August 2023 and will be supported by a programme of events including an Artist’s Tour and a portrait drawing workshop. Activities will also be taking place as part of Refugee Week, from 19th – 25th June 2023. The exhibitions forms part of the Festival of Chichester 2023.

Supported using public funding from Arts Council England  Sanctuary in Chichester

close up of sculpture bust
a visitor looks at a sculpture
the sitters' own responses to the work, in their first languages, hand embroidered pieces
close up of sculpture bust
a visitor looks at a sculpture
trio of sculptures