Leviathan – Art Exhibition

Dates 28 Nov 2023 - 4 Feb 2024
Included with general admission ticket

A new solo exhibition by the artist Shezad Dawood

This winter we welcome Leviathan, an exhibition by Shezad Dawood which explores the interaction between migration, mental health, and climate change through thought-provoking paintings, textiles, video and sculpture. The magnificent setting of Salisbury Cathedral and Chapter House offers a contemplative space to reflect upon worldwide issues and ethical questions, something Dawood’s work seeks to encourage.

Where do we go now? is the title of a poignant sculpture placed within the 1215 Magna Carta exhibition space. It presents sailors on a small boat encountering a whale, representing the State. The whale threatens to destroy the vessel and prompts the sailors to throw a barrel overboard to distract it, representing their labour. Where do we go now? encourages visitors to consider the legacy of Magna Carta and the rights and freedoms of refugees.

Dawood’s short films, displayed in two of the Cathedral’s chapels, are set in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest and explore the ways in which all beings and the earth are connected. The artist writes: “We need to have empathy not just for other people living in our world but also for the vast array of animal and plant life who are victims of the way we treat our world.”

A central part of the exhibition is a collection of textile paintings hung along the Cathedral’s grand nave. The paintings depict personal possessions recovered from the seabed after a refugee ship was foundered, such as photographs and a passport. They are tribute to lives lost and those that were saved, prompting visitors to consider how we can find new reserves of empathy and think about ourselves as one humanity.

The exhibition will officially open on 28 November, but some artworks will be available to view from 23 November.

Booking information
This exhibition is included with a general admission ticket to the Cathedral.
Click here to book your visit.