Local sculptors commissioned for art installations at new Church offices
Glass, wood, and steel representing a passage from the Book of Isaiah in the Bible have been worked into three bespoke sculptures, which were installed recently by local artists at Jubilee House, the Church of England’s new offices in Southwell.
The three sculptors: Sarah Fiander from Bestwood; Ingrid Pears MBE from Thoresby; and Mike Johnson from Blyth were commissioned to create a sculpture for the courtyard at the building on Westgate. The artworks were unveiled at a special gathering of the artists and the Bishop of Southwell & Nottingham, The Rt Revd Paul Butler; Chief Executive, Nigel Spraggins and architect, Hilary Taylor (of Maber, Nottingham) who all expressed their delight with the installations.
Nigel Spraggins said: “The new building is named Jubilee House which takes its name from the year of Jubilee found in the Bible and referred to in the passage from Isaiah 61. A regular period for people to remember that God has made us as guardians of the earth for current and future generations, treating each other fairly and seeking justice. We commissioned the artists to interpret Isaiah 61 and they focussed on Jesus binding up the broken hearted, bringing freedom to the oppressed and the captive, and transforming us.” He added: “The artwork completes the new eco-friendly building which we have now moved into, enjoying the open, light environment. The official opening will be in October when there will be the opportunity for parishes and neighbours to have a look around and see the sculptures.
Sarah Fiander used yew and glass in her sculpture to portray binding up the broken hearted. “It was a really nice project to work on and meet other artists. I made glass with Ingrid at her studio so this is a completely new combination of materials as I mostly work in wood or stone. Yew is very much a church wood and my piece represents the heart of yew being bound with the spiral of glass.”
Ingrid Pears has blown glass to represent the trees of righteousness. “The way people depend on each other for support in times of need or celebration has been a driving force in my work for over a decade. I wanted to create glass that is exciting showing the creation of life, plants and shoots bursting out and the idea of a shining light, sense of direction a moral life and good values, with bright natural colours that harmonise with the surroundings.”
Mike Johnson used stainless steel to proclaim liberty to the captives. “I chose a knot to represent opposing interpretations – binding is tying together as in marriage but also a binding agreement or confinement – it’s open to interpretation as to how people want to see it…”
Architect Hilary Taylor commented: “I’m delighted with the way it’s turned out and makes this area a real focal point for the rooms inside with the backdrop of the garden. It’s been a lovely exercise to get local artists to work together on a combined project and brilliant that the diocese has commissioned it.”
Bishop Paul said: “I love the way they have picked up the Isaiah vision and interpreted it in such brilliant ways in different styles – and that they are all local Nottinghamshire based artists.”