Chichester Cathedral exhibition explores Safe Spaces

Safe Spaces Exhibition - Painting by Peter Baker
Safe Spaces Exhibition - Painting by Peter Baker

Chichester Cathedral is hosting Safe Spaces, an exhibition produced by a group of artists who have each created a personal response to the cathedral and the concept of safety.

The work explores different themes including people, place and presence through a range of media.

Cathedral spokeswoman Cathy Clark explained: “The Pallant House Creative Collective grew out of the Gallery’s learning and community programme in January 2015. It is about learning new skills in an inclusive and supportive environment mirroring the values of the community programme.

“The Collective approached the cathedral to host the exhibition as it is considered as an important place for many of the artists who may have a range of support needs. It is a safe space to relax, contemplate, draw and find inspiration, and it provides a safe and atmospheric location for a step into the world of exhibitions.

“The exhibition offers an opportunity for the collective as a group of individuals to respond to the cathedral in their own unique and individual ways, truly reflecting the values of the PHG community programme the artists are part of.”

Sixteen artists are taking part using a range of media including watercolours, acrylics, water-based oils, charcoals, clay, inks and pastels. Their work includes drawings, paintings, sculpture and poetry and explores colour, texture and pattern using natural and manmade materials.

The Dean of Chichester, the Very Rev Stephen Waine said: “The cathedral is delighted to be hosting this imaginative exhibition by The Pallant Creative Collective.

“The collective’s response to the cathedral highlights its role as a safe and inspiring space open to everybody, for contemplation and inspiration. Please come and visit the exhibition to experience this for yourself.

“The cathedral is developing several partnership projects with local organisations including Pallant House Gallery, to increase access to and develop a sense of ownership of the cathedral for local communities.”

Emily Robson, public programme manager: access & engagement at Pallant House Gallery, added: “We have a long standing partnership between the organisations and have enjoyed working together on a number of different projects. This exhibition has been a really positive experience and given our artists a great opportunity to connect with the cathedral in a really significant way.”

Contributing artist Peter Baker is delighted to be included in the exhibition. “I enjoy doing art at Pallant House Gallery and it makes me feel calm. I also love the cathedral. Sometimes I go in to do sketches. To me it’s a safe place.”

Chichester Cathedral’s learning and engagement department has worked with Pallant House Gallery’s learning and community programme since summer of 2017 when it piloted six creative sessions on a Friday afternoon. This grew into a programme of eight to nine sessions per year over the next two years, using a diverse range of cathedral features. Oct 4-Nov 3.

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