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Artist uses Arts Council England grant to explore 900 years of cathedral history

  • Date: 2 October 2013
  • Area: South West
3D banner exhibition at Exeter Cathedral.

3D banner exhibition at Exeter Cathedral.. Credit: Mark Ware

900 Years of Light: a multimedia performance at Exeter Cathedral on 2, 3 & 4 October

900 Years of Light is the culmination of Cathedra 900, an Arts Council England supported project by visual and multimedia artist Mark Ware through the National Lottery-funded Grants for the arts scheme.

For the last 18 months Mark has been exploring Exeter Cathedral and interpreting its art and architecture through photography, abstract photo-montages, 3-D artwork and sound, responding to the contributions that craftspeople have made to its rich history.

In this final part of the project, Mark's video composition will be premiered during three evenings of film, readings and music, including special arrangements performed by the internationally acclaimed trumpeter Crispian Steele-Perkins and a string trio.

The 900 Years of Light video composition will bring together Mark's images showing details, patterns and architectural shapes, creating illusions of stillness and movement. During the screening of the work, the cathedral will appear to breathe as its vaulted ceiling is cast with slowly changing light, and the live music resonates throughout the building.

Mark Ware, who is based in Devon, is a visual and multimedia artist whose current work reflects his altered perception of the world brought about by a stroke in 1996 at the age of 39.

Mark said: "Stroke affects everything I do and how I perceive the world.  It influences all my art and it keeps me in the 'here and now' because of the physical and mental challenges it presents me with.  When I look at the images I've created, I remember what the temperature was, whether I was in pain, and every detail of how I felt at the time.

'These images are my response to the cathedral, interwoven with music and spoken narrative, and I hope that they will offer a meaningful and rewarding response to the building, helping people to feel at peace and to come away altered in a positive way.

'Cathedra 900 is a profoundly rewarding project. I'm privileged and honoured to be participating in Exeter Cathedral's 900 year timeline, contributing to centuries of artistic activity within its walls.'

Crispian Steele-Perkins will speak about the music, explaining how it fits into the Cathedral's timeline.  The evening's events will be introduced by actor Emily Kreider, and will include contributions by filmmaker Michael Bickerton, and children who have taken part in Mark Ware's Cathedra 900 creative writing workshops, led by award-winning children's author Kathryn White.

A collection of over 1500 of Mark's digital images are to be donated to Exeter Cathedral's archive after this event, and Mark hopes that these will provide inspiration for future generations.

900 Years of Light takes place at 7.30 on 2, 3 & 4 October. Tickets are £5 and available from the Cathedral website or at the Cathedral.