A section of the iconic copper roof removed from the Cathedral as part of the ongoing renovation project has been transformed into an Angel sculpture by Chichester University student Helen Solly.
The sculpture, which stands at six-feet tall, was created as part of Fine Art Undergraduate Helen’s second-year assessment which emphasised the use of symbolism in imagery. Helen specialises in using raw and recycled materials that have been locally sourced to fashion unique artwork.
The copper donated by the Cathedral and used for the artwork dates back to a period after the Second World War when the metal was used to re-cover the Cathedral roof given the unavailability of the traditional lead, which is less prone to crack and lifting by coastal winds.
Helen explains, “The colours of the copper are beautiful: I wanted to retain some of the metal’s iconic history, and the sculpture’s rough edges reflect the material from the weathered roof. I’ve called it ‘Cu on the other side’ to signify its relationship with heaven. It’s also a reference to the periodic symbol for copper and draws attention to the unexposed golden-brown side of the metal that the public has never seen.”
University Chaplain Revd Dr Alison Green said: “It’s a wonderful piece of art that reflects our close relationship with the Chichester Cathedral. I had a fantasy of the angel flying from the Cathedral roof and landing here at the University for Christmas.”
Ruth Poyner, Head of Communications, Marketing & Visitor Services at the Cathedral is delighted that the green copper roof has been given a new life: “The copper can no longer protect this sacred space from the elements but we shall hope that this angel continues to offer shelter and warmth to those in need.”
The Angel sculpture was on display in the University Chapel from the Christmas period until Candlemas in early February. Helen intends to auction off her artwork later in 2019 and donate any money raised to the Cathedral roof renovation project. Started in 2018, work is continuing on this huge 5 year initiative to restore the failing roof at an overall cost of £5.8 million. Thanks to the generosity of so many individuals and organisations £3.8 million has now been raised, but with another £2 million still to find the Cathedral continues to seek donations for this vital restoration project.