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Dispersing the Night : powerful new exhibition by Ana Maria Pacheco

A solo exhibition by Brazilian-born artist Ana Maria Pacheco this April will show new work alongside major pieces that...

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Dispersing the Night : powerful new exhibition by Ana Maria Pacheco

Posted By : Marie Thomas Wednesday 14th June 2017

A solo exhibition by Brazilian-born artist Ana Maria Pacheco this April will show new work alongside major pieces that have rightly brought her international acclaim.The exhibition, entitled Dispersing the Night, looks fearlessly into the dark heart of humanity and seeks out the light.


Curated by Jacquiline Creswell, Salisbury Cathedral Arts Advisor, in association with Pratt Contemporary, this is the work of an artist who does not baulk at exposing unpalatable realities and looks unflinchingly upon the perilous world we frail, brave humans encounter. The exhibition is an exploration of extremes. Study of Head (John the Baptist III) is an expression of the abuse of power and suffering, whilst Enchanted Garden, a series of alabaster reliefs, offers the possibility of paradise.


From Be Aware, seven new polychrome wood reliefs exploring the human vices that are on exhibtion for the first time at Salisbury Cathedral, to Shadows of the Wanderer, one of the artist’s major sculptural groups, the themes are both enduring and epic, and contribute to many layers of interpretation and meaning.

The leading figure in Shadows of the Wanderer has its sources in the story of Aeneas, who carries his father out of Troy, but it speaks as easily to the topical issues of exile, migration and the displacement of peoples struggling to flee persecution. The Shadows, striking painted figures with acrylic teeth and eyes made of onyx personify the darkness within, in contrast to the lighter figures of father and son (made from the same piece of wood) which celebrate hope and endeavour.


A powerful exhibition of works spanning the last two decades of Pacheco’s career, right up to the present day, Dispersing the Night runs until 23 July and is accompanied by two lectures exploring the artist and her work:  

Contemporary Art in a Sacred Space Lecture by Colin Wiggins
19.00 - 20.00 on Friday 7th July 2017 in the North Transept

Colin Wiggins, Special Projects Curator at the National Gallery, London until 2016, reflects on the role of contemporary art in sacred spaces and discusses Ana Maria Pacheco's work, its making and meaning and how it responds to the sacred medieval setting.

Colin has worked with many leading artists including Peter Blake, Frank Auerbach and Michael Landy - and Pacheco during her residency at the National Gallery in 1998-2000. He is both an art historian and artist and began his career as a Research Assistant in the Department of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum before moving to work in the Education Department of the National Gallery, London. He is currently working on a major new exhibition for the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings later this year. 

Tickets £7 available online here or on the door on the night.

Suspended Between the Darkness and the Light: Ana Maria Pacheco’s images of fear and wonder
11 - 12 on Wednesday 19th July in the North Transept

Paul Hills, Professor Emeritus at The Courtauld Institute of Art, London explores how Pacheco’s works embody such contraries as torment and peace or requiem, wandering and coming to rest, and he will discuss how she draws upon and transfigures motifs from Christian and Classical iconography.

Tickets £7 available online here or on the door.

For any further enquiries contact Marie Thomas on 01722 555148
Please note that the Cathedral will be closed on 5 and 6 July so the exhibition will not be accessible