Richard Woods – The Small House, Southwark Cathedral

“Richard Woods’ ‘The Small House’ sits in the big house, the house of God, iconic in its own right – the abiding with us God, who opens the door of the divine house and invites us in to find a home.” The Dean of Southwark, Andrew Nunn on Southwark’s latest art commission.

Southwark Cathedral has commissioned a major new art installation, entitled The Small House, by artist Richard Woods, to invite debate about equality and poverty in this country.

It will stand at 7.5m tall and sit directly in front of the Great Screen at Southwark Cathedral and will be unveiled this Friday before opening to the public on Saturday (6 August).

The Dean of Southwark, the Very Revd Andrew Nunn, said:

“Ask a child to draw a house and they will probably draw something that is similar to the house that all of us have drawn.  Our images of a house are iconic.  But whilst we will draw such a house few of us live as comfortably, with a smoking chimney, a picket fence, outside space and roses round the door. 

‘The Small House’ invites us to think about our concept and fantasy of house and home, and to ask serious questions about why so many live in sub-standard housing or on the street.  

“Richard Woods’ ‘The Small House’ sits in the big house, the house of God, iconic in its own right – the abiding with us God, who opens the door of the divine house and invites us in to find a home,” he added.

Richard’s work appears across the UK and at various sites globally. This piece was commissioned for Southwark Cathedral as part of their annual Lent art installation programme and pushed into a summer date following the rise of Omicron variant last spring.

“Richard Woods’ ‘The Small House’

 

Talking about the piece, the artist Richard, said:

“The Small House is a simplified facsimile of a normal terraced house. It is a 2D cartoon depiction of a terraced house, the architecture of everyday. 

“Standing at 7.5 metres tall and positioned directly in front of the magnificent Great Screen of Southwark Cathedral, The Small House aims to spark up a conversation with the transcendental architecture of the Cathedral. 

“I see it as a meeting of the architecture of the everyday and the grandeur of the Gothic architecture that is something beyond the everyday,” he added.

The installation is supported by grants from Westhill Endowment and Frazer Trust.

Opening times are 9am – 6pm daily.  First public viewing day: Saturday 6 August to Wednesday 31 August. Admission free.

 Richard Woods was born in Chester, England, in 1966 and graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art, London in 1990, where he trained as a sculptor. Woods is well known for his architectural installations and re-surfacing of structures that propose an absurd twist on the cult of home improvement and DIY aesthetics. His works are characterised by cartoon-like decorative surfaces, bold patterns and vibrant colours.