Art in Sacred Spaces: English Cathedrals announces new partnership with arts curator

21st May 2024

New Arts Curator announced for all Cathedrals.

English Cathedrals has launched a new partnership with a consultant arts curator who will offer support and advice to any cathedral exploring new opportunities to use the visual arts to attract new audiences, open up fresh conversations about faith and life, and better tell their stories.

English cathedrals announce new partnership with launch of arts curator – Jacquiline Creswell

Visual arts adviser, Jacquiline Creswell, has been curating art in sacred spaces for over fifteen years. She is responsible for Am I My Brother’s Keeper, a series of 25 polychrome figures by sculptor Sean Henry, currently on display in Ely Cathedral, which explores our interconnectedness and interrogates our moral responsibility towards each other.

Visual arts adviser, Jacquiline Creswell, has been curating art in sacred spaces for over fifteen years.

This new role will give cathedrals the opportunity, if they wish, to work with Jacquiline to identify opportunities, curate and deliver projects, select artists and artworks, advise on procurement and, if appropriate, develop site-specific commissions.

The Dean of St Albans and chair of the Association of English Cathedrals, the Very Revd Jo Kelly-Moore said:

“Over the centuries the visual arts have always had a central role in our Cathedrals’ telling of the good news of God’s love for the world. In our ongoing commitment to the arts, this partnership allows us to celebrate our faith in new ways, open up fresh conversations, encourage spiritual development, engage with diverse communities and challenges all of us to consider who we are and our place in the world.

“This is an exciting development for us here at the Association of English Cathedrals and we hope it proves to be a rich resource to help support our cathedrals.”

Jacquiline was responsible for developing Salisbury Cathedral’s pioneering arts programme from 2009 to 2021, curating over 45 exhibitions and working with over 70 artists, galleries, foundations and estates including Antony Gormley, the Henry Moore Foundation, Lynn Chadwick Estate, Barbara Hepworth Estate, Hauser&Wirth, Mark Wallinger, David Mach, Lemn Sissay, Bruce Munro and Ana Maria Pacheco.

She has also worked with Chichester and Ely Cathedrals and is currently advising a number of cathedrals on new installations.

She is a trustee of the charity, Art + Christianity and has been part of Wells Arts Contemporary since 2023.

Jacquiline said:

“Visual art is one of humankind’s greatest expressions of civilisation and remains a powerful and dynamic form of communication.

“It allows us to challenge ourselves to seek truth in our surroundings, question our perceptions and examine the way we live.

“Churches have employed the visual arts for centuries to celebrate their faith and communicate its truth and beauty. They have found that art has the power to attract and engage people who are otherwise outside the formal structures of faith, belief and belonging.

“I look forward to playing a greater role with these great buildings in placing meaningful, thought provoking and engaging art in their sacred spaces.”

The role of consultant arts curator is for an initial period of three years and will be overseen by a new governing board, the Art in Cathedrals Advisory Board. The role is unpaid. Each cathedral which uses her services as curator will make its own arrangements.