Monday 6 August 2012

Westminster Arts Inspired by the Games Festival

Chris Clack is part of exhibitions at Westminster Abbey, St Margaret's and Methodist Central Hall celebrate the Cultural Olympiad with a range of artistic forms from sculpture, carvings and glasswork to art installations, photography and paintings in various medium. A huge canvas - 18 feet high by 72 feet long painted by artists from every corner of the globe - is among an amazing array of artwork inspired by the Olympic Games and now on display across Westminster in Central London.

The exhibitions are in partnership with More Than Gold, the agency established by all the main denominations to help churches make the most of the Games. The ‘Westminster Arts Inspired by the Games’ Festival is open throughout the Games and incorporates work from a number of celebrated artists from around the world. Details on contributors can be found at

‘With such a wide array of nations represented at the Games, it is exciting to see artists from around the world collaborating on these art exhibitions. The displays, housed in iconic London churches, are important because they help connect themes from the Christian faith with the Olympic vision,’ says Andy Frost who leads More Than Gold’s Creative and Performing Arts team.

Westminster Abbey features the work of the British-born sculptor Eleanor Cardozo, combining her classical training in sculpture with personal sport experience: ‘With twenty years as a professional sculptor I have used my knowledge of the human anatomy and my experience as a gymnast to create a collection of bronze gymnasts to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic Games. Each sculpture perfectly conveys the Olympic philosophy of combining in a balanced whole, the body, will and mind,’ Eleanor Cardozo said.
Next door to the Abbey, St Margaret’s Church hosts a free exhibition which features a range of artistic disciplines from textiles to fine art.

Methodist Central Hall will host two exhibitions during the Games, one of which is a huge canvas 18 feet high by 72 feet long. This piece is comprised of 141 canvasses painted separately by individuals and groups of artists from every corner of the globe. The canvas, entitled Key of David holds the biblical promise that it ‘opens doors that no one can close and closes doors that no one can open’.

Bryan Pollard, a Creative Director from New Zealand, has orchestrated the artists to create a piece which ‘truly celebrates the unity amidst diversity spirit that is a trademark of the Olympic Games’ Each artist joining this international project sees their personal contribution as a living testimony of their creative gifts given by a Creator God.

Additionally, a selection of work from the Methodist Collection of Modern Christian Art is on display in Methodist Central Hall Westminster and offers the public a rare opportunity to view works from this impressive, yet little known, collection. On show are artworks by key twentieth-century figures, including, but not limited to: Graham Sutherland, Edward Burra, Eric Gill, Patrick Heron, Elizabeth Frink, Jacques Iselin, Georges Rouault, and Craigie Aitchison. This exhibition should attract Modern art enthusiasts, individuals with an interest in religious art, and curious members of the public alike.

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