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24 Sep 2016 - 02 Oct 2016

We are very excited to be hosting an exhibition of new paintings by one of the country's finest contemporary watercolourists, Gerard Stamp. Gerard has been visiting Ely Cathedral over the last 18 months to capture aspects of this awe inspiring building for his new collection, 'Isle of Light'. He has previously held similar exhibitions at Norwich and Exeter Cathedrals to great acclaim. The exhibition, which has been arranged in conjunction with Grapevine Galleries, will be made up of 24 large scale paintings of some of Gerard's favourite parts of the Cathedral. All exhibits will be on sale with some of the proceeds going to the Cathedral. This special exhibition can be viewed first-hand in the Lady Chapel from 24 September to 2 October 2016.

"Some buildings astound us by their sheer size. Some buildings touch us by their intimacy. Some inspire us with their exquisite craftsmanship and beauty. And some can even move us to question our beliefs, assumptions and priorities.

Very few buildings in the world manage to do all of these things. Ely Cathedral is one of them.

This exhibition has been nearly two years in the making. I have spent dozens of hours wandering around simply watching the cathedral, seeing how the sun might briefly flood a corner, a column, a niche; I've seen how the low winter light penetrates far into the northern side, while the intense summer sun casts steep diagonals into the nave. Different aspects catch the eye at different times of the year. Some views suggested themselves at once, others only after much exploration. One or two paintings demanded to be included, although I spent too much time avoiding the Octagon, knowing what a monumental task it would be to tackle it. But I knew that I must.

I have been drawing and painting architecture for as long as I remember, certainly since I was a schoolboy next door to another great East Anglian cathedral, Norwich. But perhaps 'architecture' is too prosaic a term; my inspiration is drawn from how buildings feel once imbued with what Ruskin called 'the golden stain of time... walls that have long been washed by the passing waves of humanity'.

The greatest cathedrals (and indeed, the most humble of churches) can move me deeply. It's not a religious response, but it is, for want of a better word, a spiritual one. And that is what I strive to convey; I want to do much more than paint a building accurately in perspective and detail (although that is important to me). What is fundamental, and ultimately what my paintings are about, is the feeling of a place, of light and time eternal, of spirits in stone, and of being 'at the still point of the turning world'." - Gerard Stamp

Cathedral admission charges apply:

adults £8, concessions £6 (Monday to Saturday; children under 16 free when accompanied by an adult)

Exhibition opening times:

10am to 4.30pm
Midday to 4.30pm (Sunday)

Exhibition by invitation of the Cathedral Chapter and arranged by Grapevine Contemporary Art


For more information and to attend the private view call 01328 730125 or email ku/oc/yrellageniveparg//pmats

For details about this or any other event please contact:
ELY CATHEDRAL BOX OFFICE on 01353 660349 (Mon-Sat 9.30am-4pm)
or email: gro/lardehtacyle//eciffo/xob

Isle of Light (2 images)

  • Isle 1
    Nave from Crossing

  • Isle 2
    Towards the Octagon