Cathedral At Dawn

03rd February 2023

Experience Cathedral At Dawn to mark Peter Marlow’s The English Cathedral photographic exhibition.

Hereford Cathedral is calling all photographers to experience “Cathedral At Dawn” to mark Magnum photographer Peter Marlow’s photographic exhibition The English Cathedral which chronicles all 42 naves of England’s Anglican cathedrals in the bare dawn light.

Hereford Cathedral to host the tour of works by the late Magnum photographer, Peter Marlow.

Peter Marlow: The English Cathedral is on show until 2 March and gives photographers the opportunity to capture the cathedral on camera as Peter did back in 2011 for a competition that could see their photo on display in Hereford Cathedral.

Peter’s photographic portrait of Hereford Cathedral, photographed towards the end of his pilgrimage around all 42 Anglican Cathedrals captures the contemporary suspended silver gilt stainless steel artwork, The Corona, 1992, created by Simon Beer.

Symbolising both Christ’s Crown of Thorns and his Crown of Glory, it represents the deaneries in the Diocese of Hereford and is a dramatic focal point that contrasts with the ribbed vaults and flying buttresses above typical of the Cathedral’s original 13th-century Gothic architecture.

The Cathedral At Dawn: Photography Experience on 9 February invites photographers to experience the unrivalled sense of peace and tranquillity in the Cathedral before the business of the day begins.

Attendees will be invited to submit a photograph on social media for the public vote. The photographer of the favourite image will win a prize and the unique opportunity to have their photo on display within Hereford Cathedral.

The Very Revd Sarah Brown, Dean of Hereford, says of the exhibition,

“There is something very unique about the peace of a cathedral at dawn. The tranquillity that exists before anyone else arrives is a remarkable thing and truly gives the individual a chance to pause and reflect. We look forward to welcoming visitors to view this stunning collection of photographs, which show just how special these sacred spaces are.”

In 2008 Peter Marlow (b. UK, 1952 – 2016) was commissioned by Royal Mail on the 300th year anniversary of the completion of St Paul’s Cathedral to photograph six Anglican Cathedrals that were then issued as commemorative stamps.

So taken was he by these initial magnificent interiors that he set out to photograph all 42, guided over the next three years by a copy of English Cathedrals (1989) by Edwin Smith and Olive Cook and a pack of Anglican Cathedrals of England Top Trumps Cards.

Cathedral at Dawn - Hereford Cathedral

“What I thought was going to be incredibly simple became intricate, complicated, and utterly absorbing.

“The journey was memorable and wonderfully hypnotic, a kind of reflective pilgrimage. My cathedral days involved hours of driving and thinking, with my reference photographs drying in the sun on the dashboard. England passed by.” Peter Marlow, The English Cathedral.

The Cathedral At Dawn: Photography Experience is led by freelance photographer Caroline Potter and assisted by cathedral photographer Gordon Taylor.

It will take place on Thursday 9 February 2023 at 7am with tickets available from the Hereford Cathedral website here.