West Suffolk College’s UAL General Art and Design, Fine Art students have been granted the opportunity to display some of their artwork in the St Edmundsbury cathedral as part of their 2019 ‘Festival of Light’ exhibition.
The two week exhibition is based on ‘Enlightenment’ and each student’s individual interpretation of what this means to them. Sophie Knappett, Lecturer in Art and Design at the college said: “The students and I approached the staff at the cathedral to see if we could hold an exhibition at the cathedral as it ties in with the theme perfectly.
Sophie continued: “Each piece of work is based on what enlightenment means for that student; it could be personal, cultural, spiritual or even visual. We have seen a lot of them base their piece upon the architecture of the cathedral – there is a real mixture of content its fantastic.”
For the project the students had to work on expanding their knowledge by looking at wider world issues relating to festivals of light, culture and religion. They spent some time observing and photographing the Bury St Edmunds based cathedral so they were then able to construct concepts and context for their artwork.
When talking about the different pieces Sophie said “Some of the students have based their work conceptually looking at social enlightenment, behaviour, life after death, religious buildings from around the world, abstract and expressionism. The exhibition really showcases the diversity of the project and demonstrates how one subject can be explored in many different ways and manners.”
Holly Armstrong, age 19 from Long Melford made the decision to illustrate multiple cathedrals into one piece when demonstrating her take on enlightenment. Holly explained: “I was inspired by my different University visits, whenever I went to a new city I would visit the different cathedrals and then incorporate these into my artwork. This includes the St Edmundsbury cathedral, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool.”
Helen Woodroffe, Education Officer for St Edmundsbury Cathedral said: “The Festival of Light Exhibition 2019 has attracted much interest from visitors to the Cloisters at St. Edmundsbury Cathedral during the dull January days. The interpretation of the concept ‘Enlightenment’ and use of different art mediums have engaged all ages in thought, discussion and appreciation, it has been a very worthwhile project which we look forward to repeating in the future.”