Sculptor Sean Henry at Ely Cathedral

26th April 2024

An exhibition by celebrated artist & sculptor, Sean Henry that explores our interconnectedness and interrogates the positive impact of our responsibility to care for and support one another, opens in Ely Cathedral this weekend.

Am I my Brother’s Keeper? Sculptor Sean Henry at Ely Cathedral

Am I My Brother’s Keeper sees 25 hand-painted terracotta and bronze figures populate the vacant plinths, tombs and niches throughout the medieval Cathedral.

Sculptor Sean Henry at Ely Cathedral

His life-like figures which vary in size, capture the human form with compassion, depicting the emotions, struggles and joys that define us as human.

The artist, Sean Henry said:

“We don’t know who they are, and while the figures might seem familiar and, I hope, emotionally present, the ambiguity around their status is an important part of how and why we engage with them.”

Curated by Visual Arts Advisor Jacquiline Creswell, the exhibition prompts reflection on how we support each other and can be interpreted as an enquiry into one’s moral responsibility toward others.

She explained that once the effigies, tombs and carved stone finials in the cathedral would have been emblazoned with pure vivid colours and simple pigments enhanced with gilding, as it held a prolific collection of painted figures set within niches and plinths derived from Biblical sources.

“Centuries on, Am I my brother’s keeper? reflect that period of coloured figurative display in a contemporary way.

“Henry’s work will populate the cathedral’s vacant plinths situated throughout the cathedral and its environs in an echo of those past installations.

“Within the context of a sacred space, Am I my brother’s keeper? is a portal through which bridges may be built between people both inside and outside the community, helping to open up discussion about our shared humanity.

“Through acts of compassion and understanding, a world can be created where no one is left behind and all have an opportunity to thrive. His people invite us to explore, question and connect with the different people around us.”

Sean Henry’s work has been exhibited worldwide including Europe, Australasia and the US. Many of his sculptures have been installed in a number of locations across the globe from the Artic Circle in Norway to the South Island of New Zealand. Since 2015, his sculpture of Sir Tim Bernes Lee, founder of the World Wide Web, has been part of the permanent collection in the National Portrait Gallery. He has been represented by the Osborne Samuel Gallery in London since 1999.

Am I My Brother’s Keeper runs from April 26 through to September 01 and is included in the Cathedral admission ticket. 

The exhibition will be formally opened by The Rt Hon Lucy Frazer KC MP, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in May.

For further information and Cathedral admission tickets please visit