Go dippy for Diptychs at Bath Abbey!

In the first event of its kind, Bath Abbey is opening up its Diptych collection and inviting children to try their hand at making their own. The Abbey has a superb collection of Diptychs (works of art in two parts, one painted, the other textiles) which we’ll be opening up for children to take a closer look at and use as inspiration for their own works of art in paint and embroidery. These free family fun days take place during half-term on 27 & 28 October as part of Heritage Open Week.

Star over Bethlehem Diptych 2
Star over Bethlehem Diptych 2

Ollie Taylor, Bath Abbey’s Interpretation Officer, said: “This is the first time we’ve invited children to come to the Abbey to make their own diptychs. Many people might not know about the Abbey’s Diptychs, so this is a really exciting opportunity for them to come to the Abbey, to see this beautiful collection of artworks, and use them as inspiration to create their own in Bath’s most beautiful building.

There’s no need to book and both days are free so we hope that many families come and have a go at sketching, painting and stitching with the local artists and needle workers who’ll be in the Abbey to give them a hand.”

Sue at work in Bath Abbey
Sue at work in Bath Abbey

The Abbey’s Diptychs were made by local artist Sue Symons and tell the story of the life of Jesus in calligraphy and needlework. She was inspired to create them after attending a performance of Bach’s St Matthew Passion whilst living in Canada. She completed the series between 2006-2007 after returning to Bath, a labour of love which took her 3,000 hours’ work.

The works have been on display in the Abbey since they were bought in 2007 and have had a profound impact on the Abbey’s visitors. In the next 12 months the Abbey will be re-displaying and curating thematic groups of Diptychs with each season of the church year.

It is a chance for local people to look at them anew and the free family fun days begin this new way of displaying them and showcase a hidden gem of Bath’s rich artistic collections.

At these free family fun days, children and families will have the chance to get up close to the Abbey’s Diptychs and use them for inspiration to create their own. Local needle workers and artists will be on hand to help children sketch, paint, and stitch their artworks which they will be able to take home with them.

For your information:
You can find out more about Bath Abbey’s educational programmes by visiting our website: www.bathabbey.org/visiting-abbeyeducational-visits
Follow updates on twitter @BathAbbey #Diptych #HeritageOpenWeek
Find out more about Heritage Open Week on Bath & NE Somerset Council website: http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/tourism-and-heritage/museums-galleries-and-tours/heritage-open-week