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'Incarnation, Mary & Women from the Bible' A Major Touring Exhibition of Paintings by Chris Gollon

Tuesday 16th June to Sunday 16th August 2015, open daily with free entry

In the Cathedral's North Transept

Women of Jerusalem
Women of Jerusalem

From the 16th June to the 16th August, visitors to the Cathedral will see an extraordinary exhibition of paintings by the accomplished artist Chris Gollon.  This powerful exhibition explores the experiences of women in the Bible and is a collection of seventeen new artworks, some of them the largest that Gollon has ever painted.  This major exhibition has become noted for its thought-provoking and innovative depictions of women and is now touring several English cathedrals; after Chichester the paintings will be displayed at the cathedrals of Durham and Hereford, having already received critical praise at the cathedrals of Guildford and Norwich.  Gollon's artworks blend realism with the abstract and he builds layers of colour using rags, his hands, brushes and spray paint.

Click here to read coverage in The Independent about the exhibition

The Chichester exhibition also brings an exclusive opportunity to see a new work by Gollon for the first time - a painting of 'Judas's Wife'.  This painting has been created especially for the Chichester exhibition and is believed to be the first image in art history of 'Judas's Wife'.  The painting captures the heartbreak and alienation of Judas's wife as she confronts both her husband's suicide and his role in the death of Jesus.

Partially inspired by Carol Ann Duffy's collection of poems 'The World's Wife', Gollon has chosen to include several paintings of unnamed women in the Bible, such as Job's wife, the first woman to question God's actions.  Visitors will also encounter more well-known women such as Salome, depicted just at the point where she sees the full horror of her actions.  Gollon also conveys the bravery of the 'Women on Jerusalem', painting them with great psychological depth as feisty and stong women.  The artist was also keen to carry the theme beyond the Bible to include remarkable women who came later, such as St Lucy.

Madonna and Child
Madonna and Child

Ruth Poyner, Chichester Cathedral Spokeswoman, says: 'We are delighted to be displaying these beautiful and challenging paintings in Chichester Cathedral.  This exhibition celebrates the complexity of female experience and places women at the forefront of the Christian narrative.  We hope visitors really enjoy these extraordinary artworks'.

Chris Gollon is an established name in British painting.  He exhibited with Bill Viola, Tracey Emin and Craigie Aitchison in the exhibition Images of Christ for the Third Millennium in St Paul's Cathedral, London (1994).  From 2000 - 2008 he painted a major series of religious works Fourteen Stations of the Cross, which are now permanently installed in the grade-one listed Church of St John on Bethnal Green, designed by Sir John Soane.  Chris Gollon has works in several major public collections including the British Museum.  He has enjoyed many solo shows, exhibited at Art Chicago and also with Yoko Ono, David Bowie and Gavin Turk in ROOT, a crossover exhibition of contemporary music and art created by Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, at Chisenhale Gallery, London.

The exhibition is accompanied by a full-colour catalogue with texts by award-winning novelist Sara Maitland, art historian Tamsin Pickeral, Revd Canon Dr Julie Gittoes and Revd Canon Andrew Bishop.

Click here to find out about Gollon's recent painting project with Nyewood CE Junior School.

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