Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Art Alive in Churches 2011 – The Glories of Norfolk’s Medieval Rood Screens

Art Alive in Churches 2011, promoted by the Norfolk Churches Discovery Project, is working with the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St John the Baptist, Norwich and sculptors involved in the Bergh Apton Sculpture Trail and Welborne Arts Festival.

The Cathedral of St John the Baptist, Norwich
Wednesday June 8 to Sunday, June 12
The Narthex at the Cathedral of St John the Baptist is staging an exhibition celebrating the historic art of rood screens* and beams in Norfolk churches from Wednesday, June 8 to Sunday, June 12, open 10.30am-5pm (2pm-5pm on Sunday),

The Cathedral features an exquisite rood beam and crucifix carved for the church
by Peter Rendl of Oberammergau, one of the principal players in its Passion Play early in the 20th century.

The Art Alive Rood Screens exhibition includes:
 Photographs by Paul Hurst of the 15th century painted rood screen at St Michael and All Angels Barton Turf, one of the best surviving examples of a medieval rood screen in the UK. During the Reformation images of the saints on rood screens were defaced, but little damage was done at Barton Turf.
 An explanation of the significance of rood screen art in Norfolk Churches by Lucy Wrapson Hamilton Kerr Institute. Norfolk has more surviving medieval rood screens than any other county.
 Information about the 19th century ecclesiastical debate about the future of rood screens.
 Maz Jackson, Norfolk’s international egg tempera artist’s modern take on an angel’s head, created using the same egg tempera techniques employed by medieval artists painting rood screens. Maz is also providing a drawing frame to give visitors the opportunity to create their own sketches in response to the exhibition.
 Sculptures from Bergh Apton’s sculpture trail, The Journey, by John Bardell, Andy Hibberd and David Holgate
 Sunday, June 12, 2pm-5pm, Doves and Angles: Holy Visitors – join Caroline Gilfillan for an inspirational workshop writing poetry on the theme of Pentecost and Angels, free event; just bring a pen and paper.

St Michael and All Angels Barton Turf
Visit St Michael and All Angels to view the 15th century rood screen. The church is open on a daily basis

Welborne Arts Festival
Saturday June 18, 11.30am-6pm and Sunday, June 19, 11.30am-4.30pm
Sculptor Joy Whiddett will be making a willow figure in the churchyard of All Saints Church Welborne as part of the Welborne Arts Festival. This Art Alive in Churches commission will remain in the churchyard after the festival. Visitors will be invited to participate in the creation of the willow figure. Joy is currently working on several sculptures to represent the essence of the festival, which will also be displayed in the churchyard. All Saints is a round towered church dating from the 11th century. It also has a 19th century rood screen. Norfolk based writers Rachel Hore and Elspeth Barker will both be giving readings from their work in the church during the weekend.

For more information about Welborne Arts Festival, tel. 01362 850327 or 01362 850492,

Jennie Hawks, Historic Places of Worship Support Officer, Diocese of Norwich said: “Our medieval rood screens are one of Norfolk’s great artistic glories. I hope that our special exhibition staged in partnership with The Cathedral of St John the Baptists will encourage both local residents and visitors to explore our wonderful historic churches.”

Art Alive in Churches is supported by The Diocese of Norwich, Norfolk County Council, Town Close Estate Charities and Allies Computing.

*The rood screen separates the chancel, which houses the altar, from the nave – the main body of the church. The rood beam, which is located above the rood screen supports the great rood (crucifix).

Photograph: Cherubim, Barton Turf Rood Screen - Paul Hurst