Historic church’s modern art exhibition
A historic Lakeland church is exhibiting stunning modern sculptures which will be celebrated in a forthcoming art trail.
Christ on the Cross - a six-foot-high wooden cross including the figure of Christ, fashioned from copper wiring and piping - a smaller version of the cross and an interpretation of The Creation of Adam are all on show at St Anthony’s Cartmel Fell.
They are the work of self-taught artist Mark Hunt, who church officers contacted after reading about the sculptures in The Way, the county’s ecumenical digital newspaper.
Mark said: “It was always my intention that the artwork should be displayed in a church in the county so I was thrilled when the approach was made. I’m delighted that the works have found a home and are being viewed and appreciated by members of the congregation as well as the many visitors to this beautiful church.
“When I arrived with the artwork there was some discussion as to where the large cross could be sited but amazingly it slotted perfectly into a hole in the church’s ‘mounting block’ which is outside. It was meant to be!
“It means that it’s facing the lych-gate and so really helps to draw people into the churchyard and building.”
Mark, aged 63, upcycles and recycles material for his artwork, reclaiming timber pieces from his garden and unsheathing coils of copper wire from which he fashioned the body of Christ.
Churchwarden Vanda Lambton and Parochial Church Council member Fiona Daley say the modern sculptures complement the church which dates from 1504.
Fiona explained: “I saw the article in The Way publication and thought that the artwork would look great in the church. I emailed our PCC – who are very forward-thinking about these kind of things - and within an hour I’d been told to press on and arrange delivery. It all snowballed from there and the next thing I knew they were here.
“We were all overwhelmed about how wonderful they looked and how well they fit into our church. They may be quite radical and modernistic in design, but they are all incredibly spiritual as well as being beautifully and lovingly made.”
The smaller 18-inch-high Christ on the Cross installation is currently placed on the church’s altar with plans to use it as a centre piece at festival services including Lent and Advent. The Creation of Adam – again fashioned from timber and copper - can be seen in the window above the church’s Burblethwaite pew.
Fiona said: “The reaction to the artwork has been very positive. We have had some people visit just to see the sculptures, which has been lovely. As a church we feel that we’re living with these sculptures now and that they are at home.”
The church is one of five venues in a forthcoming Art and Trail exhibition in Witherslack and the Winster valley, by which people will be able to view the artwork.
Vanda added: “There were various exhibitions happening in the area at the same time and because Mark’s artwork arrived at the perfect time, we thought we would add St Anthony’s into the Art and Trail.”
The event takes place on Saturday 30 September and Sunday 1 October from 10.30am to 5pm.
For further information contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Head of Communications, on 07469 153658 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.