RETROSPECTIVE BY SCULPTURE VINCENT GRAY
This Christmas Portsmouth Cathedral will be bringing ‘comfort and joy’ wherever you celebrate, and alongside their services including carols, eucharists and Midnight Mass – the Cathedral will be home to a retrospective by sculptor, Vincent Gray. ‘Leap of Faith’ is open now, and runs through to Friday 15th January 2021. The exhibition (including the Cathedral) is free to enter, and open during normal opening hours making a fantastic detour during Christmas shopping.
The exhibition includes a diverse range of work ranging from smaller maquettes through to life-size statues. Much of the work included in the exhibition is cast bronze resin, with the artist bringing together several techniques and skills to achieve a wide variety of finishes, showcasing the versatility of the medium.
Some of the works also have a direct correlation to the ‘Cathedral of the Sea’, including the striking ‘Union’ which has been likened to a ship’s capstan and, the wonderfully detailed ‘Nelson’ maquette. ‘At certain points in one’s life one must take a leap of faith, take a chance or calculated risk. One reserves the right however to believe in or embrace a higher force, a godly force, suggesting we are hard wired and have capacity to project beyond our being to a greater power‘ says Gray.
Gray has a wide background of experience including television, theatre, and design, working alongside some notable names across arts and engineering sectors both in the UK and in Scandinavia. Gray models in wax, clay, and plaster for bronze, and more recently, contemporary materials such as steel, and glass fibre. His work is often on a monumental scale and the human figure is a recurring theme. Gray is known for his historical public figures but theatre and street performance influence much of his gallery work. In parallel to his practise Gray teaches sculpture, undertakes public talks on art in context and the techniques of sculpture and is known to give of his time to good causes.
One of the highlights of the exhibition is ‘Lucia and Starboy,’ a life-size piece influenced by the Scandinavian tradition of Saint Lucy, the bearer of light. Saint Lucy’s Day is a feast day in the church, celebrated on the 13th December. Coordinating the exhibition, the Cathedral’s Canon Chancellor, Kathryn Percival, said “At the end of this very challenging year, and as we move into 2021, it is wonderful to have these varied and exciting visual reminders of the need to look beyond ourselves, of the energy which will carry us forward even into the unknown, and of the light which shines in the darkness.”
The exhibition opening comes just as the Cathedral reopens its doors for public worship and visiting after the recent lockdown restrictions. Throughout the lockdown the Cathedral has continued to be open for private individual prayer. Visitors are now encouraged to come in and enjoy the exhibition alongside a programme of Advent & Christmas services at the Cathedral throughout December.
Dean of Portsmouth, The Very Reverend Dr Anthony Cane said “We’re so pleased to be able to welcome people back to the Cathedral for public worship, just in time for our Advent and Christmas services. It’s also a delight to be able to enhance people’s visit to the Cathedral via Vincent’s diverse and beautifully crafted sculptures, and the invitation to reflect on what inspired his subjects, and what inspires us.”
The exhibition ‘Leap of Faith’ will be open from Friday 4th December 2020, until Friday 15th January 2021 at Portsmouth Cathedral. Open throughout the week, alongside our Cathedral Shop selling a new range of gifts for Advent and Christmas. More information about the services throughout December, including the Exhibition can be found at https://www.portsmouthcathedral.org.uk/christmas
…The exhibition includes a diverse range of work ranging from smaller maquettes through to life-size statues…