New Sculpture in Newcastle Cathedral

02nd November 2022

A new sculpture designed to show Jesus’s legacy of love and sacrifice is the latest artwork to go on display in Newcastle Cathedral – part of a series of artworks to reflect its rich heritage and story.

New sculpture in Newcastle Cathedral tells Jesus’s legacy of love and sacrifice

Legacy, by artist Roberta Fulford, is crafted from 150 metres of walnut veneer and represents the transformative moment on the cross when Jesus became boundless energy flowing into the world.

And for Roberta, who completed her Arts degree at Northumbria University in Newcastle before moving to one of Shetland’s outer islands, this piece represents a sort of homecoming too.

She was drawn to create a piece for the cathedral after attending an event there and so was thrilled when she was invited to share her initial ideas further.

She said:

“I have felt incredibly moved and honoured to have this opportunity. It is, without doubt, the most wonderful thing in my creative life so far, not least because of the magnificent and benevolent environment.

“The faith that the team put in me to create the work in situ has been an honour, and I was determined to try to meet their expectations. I hope the work will connect with visitors to the Cathedral and perhaps summon a personal emotional response to enrich their experience in this beautiful spiritual place.” 

Legacy can be found on display above the archway entrance to Newcastle’s Medieval Crypt Chapel and is the latest in a series of exhibitions and installations which respond to Newcastle Cathedral’s rich story.

Newcastle Cathedral closed in January 2020 and reopened in August 2021 following a £6m National Lottery Heritage Fund project, Common Ground in Sacred Space which vastly transformed the nave, re-landscaped its outside space for more public engagement and introduced new audio-visual heritage displays.

Since reopening, the Cathedral has hosted a wide range of bespoke commissions and existing art pieces and the cathedral is committed to continuing this tradition.

Lindy Gilliland, Project Manager of Common Ground in Sacred Space said:

“Cathedrals are intriguing and exciting spaces for artists to create and display their work. 

“The nature of these spaces makes them ideally suited to exploring themes and topics related to faith, heritage and society today.”   

 “We’re looking forward to building relationships with artists whose work really resonates with our values, our historic venue and our city context”.

Legacy will be on display until the end of December.

New Sculpture in Newcastle Cathedral tells Jesus's legacy of love and sacrifice

A temporary exhibition, Hidden Stories: We Are the Pelicans runs until Monday 28 November and has been created by Newcastle print and pattern designer Shiori Naruse alongside a group of women who have accessed the services provided by Changing Lives.

Other exhibitions have included We Depend on Our Words celebrating the diversity of LGBTQ+ individuals with connections to the Cathedral, Light’, a showcase of works by the Northern Potters Association, and What is a Safe Space? created by people who have experienced homelessness while living in the North East.

‘Transformation’ by Sarah Troughton ran in May and represented the phases of transformation experienced by survivors following church-related abuse.

Exhibitions have also included ‘A Century of Wedding Gowns’, and. Friday 2 December will see the launch of ‘From St Nicholas to Santa Claus’, an exploration into the evolving identity of the Cathedral’s patron saint.