One of the nation’s most important collections of modern Christian art will be on display at Bath Abbey from now until 30 October.
The Methodist Modern Art Collection is a unique collection of Christian art which has toured the UK and abroad since its inception over 40 years ago.
There are over 33 works on show in the Abbey, including some by well-known artists such as Graham Sutherland, Elisabeth Frink, William Roberts and Patrick Heron. The pictures depict scenes from the life and teaching of Christ including ‘The Feeding of the 5,000’ by John Reilly and ‘The Washing of the Feet’ by Ghislaine Howard. Some artists were or are Christians, others not.
Revd Stephen Girling, a Vicar at Bath Abbey who helped bring the exhibition to Bath, said: “This exhibition will surprise a lot of people. We’ve called it ‘Fully Alive’ as our aim is to give people the opportunity to explore what it means to be ‘Fully Alive’ in the Christian sense. The artworks, contemporary in look and feel, offer new perspectives and insights into some of the most influential aspects of Jesus’ life and teachings. They illustrate what being ‘Fully Alive’ looks like in the person of Christ.
“We hope as many people as possible come to see this exhibition. It truly is inspiring seeing these amazing pictures in the Abbey’s beautiful setting. The exhibition is supported by a series of talks and trained volunteers from the Bath area will be on hand to answer any questions visitors may have.”
The Methodist art collection is now looked after by trustees with the aim of enabling people to explore Christian faith and teachings through the medium of art.
The ‘Fully Alive’ exhibition is free to visit and open during Bath Abbey’s usual opening hours www.bathabbey.org For further information on the exhibition and accompanying talks, please see www.bathabbey.org/fullyalive
Full details of the Methodist Modern Art Collection can be found at http://www.methodist.org.uk/static/artcollection/index.htm
There are also some exhibition talks:
Tuesday 11 October, Lunchtime Talk – 1pm
‘Seeking the Creative Spirit in Landscape and Abstraction’ by Andrew Lansley, Artist
Andrew will explore the idea that Christ is the archetypal spirit of Creation and is manifest in the material landscape and in the works of artists that seek to connect with that spirit through landscape and abstract painting.
Thursday 13 October, Evening Lecture – 7.15pm
‘Christian art in a post-Christian culture’ by Sarah Middleton, Arts Manager and Collection Trustee
This prestigious Collection, owned by the British Methodist Church, travels widely. Sarah will share her research findings into how these paintings on biblical themes are a powerful means of communication and provocation.
Friday 14 October, Lunchtime Talk – 1pm
‘Speaking of life in the face of death‘ by Bob Williams, Collection Trustee
Using illustrations, Bob will talk about a powerful and challenging painting by one of the foremost Contemporary Artists of the 20th Century, Graham Sutherland – The Deposition (1947).