Calling all artists: Art as a Beacon of Hope

20th October 2020

Bradford Cathedral unveils plans for a community art project inspired by the pandemic and announces a new photographer in residence!

Art at Bradford Cathedral.

Bradford Cathedral is offering a commission to a practising artist in any field to create an arts project in response to the pandemic.

It wants the artist to work with the wider cathedral community and local people to capture the variety of thoughts and experiences of Bradford people as they attempt to “resume” their lives whilst still experiencing the effects of the pandemic as well as create opportunities for reflection, remembrance and healing.

The Revd Canon Paul Maybury says:

“Bradford Cathedral has a long-standing engagement with artists through Artspace at Bradford Cathedral. We regularly host exhibitions, installations, events and talks as well as having artists in residence. Last year it was Diane Pacitti who was our poet in residence and has just published some of the poems she wrote during the year. This year we are very pleased to have Kate Abbey as photographer in residence and look forward to seeing the stories she tells through her camera lens.

In these present times it seems more important than ever to support freelance artists and so we are inviting expressions of interest from Community artists who would like to work with us in the first half of 2021 gathering artistic responses from the widest possible communities throughout West Yorkshire creating an exhibition conveying both the pain and tragedy of these pandemic times and also something of the resilience and hope with which people have responded.”

This is a five-month project, from January-May 2021, and it will play a central role in the Cathedral’s commemoration events for the first anniversary of the Covid-19 pandemic, from March 2021 onwards.

Find out more about the community art project, and how to apply click here.

The community arts commission is part of the Cathedral’s Artspace project which aims to use art as a beacon of hope to the city and beyond by offering high-quality performance and events.

It has just announced that Kate Abbey one of British Journal of Photography’s Portrait of Britain 2020 winners is its new Photographer in Residence.

Kate has been invited to be the artist in residence for a 12-month period, to come and photograph the life in, and of the cathedral, to capture what the cathedral represents.

She said:

“It’s through my eyes and through my gaze and what I see in front of me. It’s all about what engages me. I’m wanting to photograph the intimacy of the relationships. I’m wanting to capture the individuals that are there. I’m wanting to capture the fabric of the cathedral that isn’t stones.”

To find out more about Kate including an interview with her, please visit the cathedral’s website here.

And poems written by Diane Pacitti, Bradford Cathedral’s Poet in Residence during its centenary year in 2019, have been collected into a new book, published by Canterbury Press.

Called Dark Angelic Mills, the collection includes over fifty poems covering a wide range of subjects inspired by the cathedral, its history, and the city of Bradford itself including poems about historical bell-ringer Joe Hardcastle; Bradford film ‘Billy Liar’; and the ‘Stitching the Cathedral’ group who created new kneelers based on the textile designs of artist Polly Meynell.

The book also comes with a foreword by Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury and is available with themed sets of questions for group discussions.

To find out more about the ‘Dark Angelic Mills’, and to order your copy, please visit the Bradford Cathedral website here.