Liverpool Cathedral hosts V & A sculpture

Glass font sculpture by Colin Reid
Glass font sculpture by Colin Reid

Liverpool Cathedral hosts V & A sculpture
11th February – 31st May 2010

An optical glass font from the V&A, which incorporates the early Christian symbol of a fish, is now on display in the Lady Chapel of Liverpool Cathedral.

The work is by the contemporary sculptor Colin Reid, and is on loan to the Cathedral from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. It is at the Cathedral as part of the prize awarded to the Cathedral by ACE (Art and Christianity Enquiry) for the Tracey Emin neon, For You, above the Great West Doors, and was commissioned by ACE in 2004. It is supported on a wooden plinth designed by Jim Partridge.

The design of the font recalls the Greek word for fish, icthys, whose letters represent the words for ‘Jesus Christ God’s Son Saviour.’ The early Christians used the fish image to communicate their baptismal creed. It appears in the 1st century catacombs in Rome and still has a special significance for many Christians today.

Colin Reid wrote in 2004: “If I were to identify a single thread that runs through my work it would be the influence of nature. My current interest is in natural materials that have been worked by craftsmen’s hands in the past and are eroding and reverting to nature. The medieval stone carving high on Gloucester Cathedral is being restored and the stone-masons have erected scaffolding giving access to normally inaccessible stonework. This I have cast and used as the starting point for new works.”

The sculpture will join the Icons in Transformation exhibition, which features around 180 pieces of art and runs until March 18th.

Canon Anthony Hawley said, “Liverpool Cathedral is delighted to show this work, on its first visit to the North West, as part of the Cathedral’s mission to use the building to inform visitors and to encourage them to understand and learn about the challenge of the Christian faith.”

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