Worcester Visions

Artists in the Lower Sixth at RGS have shown their artwork in the Dean’s Chapel at Worcester Cathedral.

The exhibition of current Lower Sixth artists includes Isabelle Davies, Nelly Ledger, Caitlin Bolton, Alexandra Smith, Grace Bentley-Hughes, Abigail Lawson, Evie Beardsley and Jasmine Atkinson. This was supplemented with pieces by Ella Nash since her visit to the Cathedral in 2017.

Isabelle Davies went into detail about what it means to her to show her work in the Cathedral: “My three paintings are based upon the Norman Crypt in Worcester Cathedral, which is the oldest part of the Cathedral dating back to 1084. The architecture in the Crypt is fascinating as each pillar is unique and interlinks with repeating patterns. I decided to play on perspectives and created a composition with multiple viewpoints merged together. Creating a mysterious and intriguing atmosphere was very important when I was painting, the varied perspectives form a fragmented and distorted effect which adds to the mysterious mood I was trying to achieve. Additionally, I wanted to create a sense of silence and calmness by using a restricted colour palette of blues and greens. However, I also wanted to create movement and restlessness through the use of energetic brushstrokes, the crossing of arches and varied viewpoints, furthermore creating an unsettling atmosphere and a labyrinthine space. This connects to the idea of deafening silence, as the crypt is a place of reflection, introspection and self- analysis. It is also a place of prayer and the contemplation of the unearthly, divine, eternal and spiritual. I have investigated many artists the key ones being John Piper, where I looked at his ‘Death in Venice’ series where he has merged perspectives together theatrically and his colour scheme which evokes a sense of death and doom.”

Jasmine Atkinson explains how she was inspired by the Cathedral: “I think doors are fascinating because they act as portals from one place to another. When going through an individual door for the first time, you can never be certain as to what is beyond which gives a sense of mystery. As well as portals into other rooms or spaces, these doors act as portals through time and into history. It was the unique characteristics of the doorways of Worcester Cathedral that inspired me. The worn stonework and the imperfections in the wood are testament to the generations of worshippers and clergy who have passed through them. I was particularly fascinated by the Gothic architectural details, a style which is apparent in so much of the Cathedral’s construction and decoration. The style includes a pointed arch and some doors include realistic figurative carvings illustrating biblical texts.”

Nelly Ledger said “I have used a number of mediums to create images of Worcester Cathedral and capture the building in many lights. I like the definition of the architecture as well as the foreshortened perspective, presenting the building form an almost child’s viewpoint. Using oil paint has allowed me to play with colours, replacing the natural colour with heightened colour to evoke feelings of crepuscular evening light and also jarring contrasts.  I have taken inspiration from the works of Chaim Soutine and Leon Kossoff, playing with the truth of the Cathedral’s structure to take a journey towards a different reality.  Throughout the work I have also enjoyed playing with the use of shade and colour, giving mood and solidity to the architecture and allowing the mind to make its own decision of the interpretation.  I have tried to evoke emotion in all three paintings on display focusing on the physical space between the Cathedral tower and the West façade”.

RGS is very grateful to the Dean and Chapter of Worcester Cathedral for providing this opportunity for our pupils to show their work in public over the half term period. We look forward to the private view of the works this evening.