MAJOR SCULPTURE EXHIBITION AT SALISBURY CATHEDRAL BY HELAINE BLUMENFELD INCLUDES FOUR NEW PIECESIssued Tuesday 19th February 2013
Photograph: Helaine Blumenfeld with Esprit 2013
Salisbury Cathedral is the iconic location for the first major retrospective exhibition by Helaine Blumenfeld OBE, one of Britains leading contemporary sculptors working in marble and bronze. The Messenger of the Spirit, at Salisbury Cathedral from 13 April 9 September, brings together eighteen of the extraordinarily beautiful pieces she has created throughout a career spanning more than four decades and includes four new site-specific pieces: Esprit 2013, Mysteries, The Space Within and Flight. Twelve works will be located inside the Cathedral itself and six monumental works will be outside in the surrounding Cathedral Close.
The exhibition, which shares its title with one of Blumenfelds best known pieces Messenger of the Spirit, is curated by Jacquiline Creswell, Visual Arts Advisor for the Cathedral. It can be seen at Salisbury Cathedral from Saturday 13 April Sunday 8 September 2013. Recommended viewing times are Monday-Saturday 9.00am 5.00pm and Sunday 12noon - 4.00pm (services are held at 8.00am, 9.15am, 10.30am and 4.30pm). For further details visit www.salisburycathedral.org.uk or telephone 01722 555120.
The Cathedral will be running a full programme of events to support the exhibition including workshops, talks and discussions. In addition there will be free tours led by specialist guides offering a closer insight into Helaine Blumenfelds work. For further information on the supporting programme please call 01722 555180 or visit www.salisburycathedral.org.uk
The gallery Bowman Sculpture, which has represented Helaine Blumenfeld OBE since 2006, is producing a catalogue which will be available during the exhibition with a foreword by Richard Cork and commentary by Nicola Upson.
Sarah Mullally, Canon Treasurer and Chairman of the Cathedrals Exhibition Committee, said Within the narrative of Christian scripture Angels appear when the human mind struggles to comprehend. Through the Messenger of the Spirit exhibition Helaine Blumenfeld seeks to communicate from that place when words fail through the visual, imaginative, tactile and at an emotional level. The Cathedral seeks to do the same; therefore this is a unique opportunity for both the Cathedral and sculpture to work together. The light, space and architecture work in partnership with the flowing textures and smooth lines of the sculpture to create a wonderful sense of light and life giving a message of creation, healing and hope.
Salisbury is unique amongst medieval English cathedrals having been built in just 38 years (1220 -1258) in a single architectural style, early English Gothic. The tower and spire (Britains tallest at 123 metres) were added about 50 years later and the Cathedral itself is a testimony to the faith and practical skills of those who erected it. As well as a historic building it is a living church and a place of spirituality and prayer. The finest original copy of the 1215 Magna Carta is on permanent display to visitors in the Chapter House. Salisbury Cathedral is already rich in contemporary artworks including pieces by Elisabeth Frink, Gabriel Loire, William Pye and Emily Young.
Issued by: Sarah Flanaghan.
For further information please contact:
T: 01722 555148
M: 07771 510811
Abi Gold/Diana Cawdell
T: 020 7439 2822
6 Duke Street St James's
London SW1Y 6BN
The gallery is open Monday to Friday, 10am to 6pm. Saturday by appointment only. Closed Sundays and public bank holidays.
HELAINE BLUMENFELD AND HER MAJOR RETROSPECTIVE EXHIBITION MESSENGER OF THE SPIRIT
Inspired by the spirituality of the space of Salisbury Cathedral Helaine Blumenfeld has created four site-specific works for this major retrospective exhibition Messenger of the Spirit which is the artists most ambitious project in the UK to date.
Blumenfeld has created a completely new marble piece, carved with the Cathedral and the theme of the exhibition at the forefront of her mind. Esprit 2013, hewn from translucent and white Bianco Carrara marble, expresses the role of the spirit in a process of transformation, taking flight and soaring to another level of consciousness. Blumenfeld is currently in Pietrasanta in Italy at her studio finishing this work which, once completed, will be shipped to the UK.
Being very aware of the importance of scale in the context of the Cathedral and grounds, Blumenfeld has also been at work revisiting and re-sizing three of her most spiritual and iconic works- Mysteries, The Space Within and Flight.
When people come into the context of Salisbury Cathedral, they enter the grounds prepared for a spiritual experience says Blumenfeld. As the title of the exhibition suggests, art can be the bearer of this message. I have always believed that revelation can emanate from the spirit when our minds are clear enough to receive the impact of it.
The intensity with which Blumenfeld continues to search for a visionary language to give form to that which is outside the corporal world shows no sign of lessening in the fourth decade of the artists career.
The exhibition has taken three years to plan and has involved close collaboration with the Cathedral, particularly with Jacquiline Cresswell, visual arts advisor for Salisbury Cathedral, who curated the exhibition. Of the exhibition, Creswell says The commanding presence of Helaine Blumenfeld's graceful translucent forms immediately struck me on my first encounter with them. I was aware of an extraordinary energy that captured my imagination. I felt compelled to attempt to combine these ethereal forms with the Gothic magnificence of Salisbury Cathedral, an architectural space where the everyday and ordinary are suspended.
Blumenfeld has created over 80 site specific works all over the world. However the fundamental paradox at the centre of her work - that the tangible presence of her marble and bronze sculptures give way to something outside of our mundane existence and experience - makes the collaboration with Salisbury Cathedral intensely appropriate to her vision. This is a building that also aspires to achieve a state beyond material existence.