The Chichester Nativity is an immersive art installation at Chichester Cathedral which heralds the heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic, from the local community and across the counties of East and West Sussex.
The artwork, created by Visual Arts Advisor and Curator JacquilineCreswell and Artist and Photographer Ash Mills, is a large-scale photographic installation, sharing the familiar story of the Nativity in the style of a renaissance tableau.
Characters in the scene were drawn from local organisations, charities and medical services and paired symbolically to the roles within the Nativity, with angels acting as guardians of health and wellbeing; shepherds as providers of food and resources; the Magi as people who have learned from experience and are now leaders of their community.
Each participant was photographed individually in late 2020, before being edited into the composite image. Participating organisations include BBC Radio Sussex, the Bell Tower Drop-In, Chichester District Foodbank, Chichester Festival Theatre, Heart, Sanctuary in Chichester, Stagecoach, Stonepillow, Wellington Grange and Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Further information about the participants can be found here and by using the link below.
Earlier this year the artwork was shortlisted for the Best Partnership of the Year Award, as part of the Museums + Heritage Awards 2021. This will be the final presentation of the artwork at the Cathedral, so be sure to plan your visit to the Cathedral before the 2nd February 2022.
The Chichester Nativity forms part of Chichester Cathedral's programme of services, music, visual arts and digital experiences responding to the theme: 'The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it’ (John 1.5). Find out more >>
The artwork will be on display from 16th December 2021 – 2nd February 2022. Please visit the Cathedral’s website to plan your visit: chichestercathedral.org.uk
Images: Ash Mills