‘Modern’ version of King’s Book of York Heroes to go on display at York Minster

27th October 2014

With the names and photographs of York soldiers who died during the First World War featuring in York Minster’s spectacular King’s Book of York Heroes as inspiration, a group of young artists have created a 21st century version which will go on display within the Cathedral as part of its Saints & Heroes event, running from 29 October to 1 November.

The new York’s Book of Young Heroes has been created by young artists following a series of workshops with two local street artists and the Minster’s outreach team. The young artists were drawn from youth clubs around the city, who, after looking at the original King’s Book of York Heroes, were challenged to come up with their own concepts of what makes a modern hero.

“During the workshops, we compared what was meant by the word ‘hero’ in the early part of the 20th century, and the kinds of people perceived as heroes today, from footballers and reality TV stars to ordinary people who do extraordinary things,” explains Community Engagement Officer, Helen Moore. “They came up with some fantastically insightful statements about modern heroism, and these are then reflected in their statements within the book.”

Working with Leeds-based artists CBLOXX and Jonny Packham (jaypee), each of the 80 artists created their own pages and included portrait photographs, a street-art style ‘tag’ and a statement about what a hero is to them. Like the King’s Book of York Heroes, the finished volume has been bound with a special wooden cover designed by Jonny using brocade ornamental imagery but applying a modern take on that with jaypee’s graphic art approach, incorporating youth inspired imagery of marker pens, spray cans and trainers! The cover is laser etched out of an exotic wood (cherry) and bound seamlessly into the book which uses up to date binding methods to create a beautiful object.

The book will be on display in York Minster during the Saints & Heroes event, when pages from the original King’s Book of York Heroes will be projected onto the walls alongside. The original book is displayed in the Revealing York Minster attraction in the Undercroft.

Visitors to York Minster during the event will also be able to watch two of the country’s top street artists, Inkie and C-Bloxx, creating two brand new stained-glass window inspired works of art within the Minster from 1pm to 4pm each day. In the North Nave aisle, 80 stencil art pieces created by the same young people who contributed to the book will be displayed, and six large painted medals, created by local young people from the Youth Offending Team as part of the York Minster outreach project, will be displayed along the Nave pillars.

Anyone inspired by the artworks on the walls will be able to join in ‘Big Draw’ activities each day from 10.00am to 4.00pm, including learning about stencilling with Jonny Packham.

Usual admission prices will apply for visitors: £10.00 for adults, £9.00 for concessions and free to children accompanied by a paying adult. Each ticket is valid for 12 months’ admission, and holders of valid York Cards get in free. For more details, please visit www.yorkminster.org