Art & Design Wednesday, November 25th Words by: Lauren Rogers, pictures by: Mark Bowen

Chris Gollon brings Virgin & Child to Hereford Cathedral

Art & Design Wednesday, November 25th

Chris Gollon brings Virgin & Child to Hereford Cathedral

From the medieval Mappa Mundi to the multi-million pound Cathedral Close restoration, Hereford Cathedral is inextricably linked to art.

Here’s our guide to some of the cultural events and exhibitions taking place at the Cathedral over Advent and Christmas 2015 - starting with Chris Gollon's Virgin & Child.

Contemporary British artist Chris Gollon with his 2013 oil on canvas Pieta.

Art in Advent (November 21 - late January)

Renowned British artist Chris Gollon has exhibited at Art Chicago with Yoko Ono, David Bowie and Gavin Turk in ROOT, a crossover exhibition of contemporary music and art created by Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth.

Here in Hereford, he's be showing his largest canvas to date - Virgin & Child, as well as work from his acclaimed 'Incarnation, Mary & Women from the Bible' series. The supporting paintings (on show for one weekend only, November 21-22) explore the experiences of women in the bible, often unnamed and usually forgotten.

Jesus & The Woman Taken in Adultery (Jesus Draws in the Dust) was partially inspired by Rowan William’s book Writing in the Dust, the ex-Archbishop’s response to the September 11 attacks on New York . It captures the moment Jesus seems to stop time, and draws in the dust to still for a moment the mob’s anger, before uttering “He who is without sin cast the first stone”; but also captures the moment when Jesus is alone with the woman he has just saved from certain death by stoning.

Another new work coming to Hereford Cathedral was inspired by Carol Ann Duffy’s collection of poems The World’s Wife, for which Gollon includes several unknown women in the Bible, such as Job’s Wife, the first woman to question God’s actions.

Coming up at Hereford Cathedral

Carols in the Cloister (December 2, 7.30pm) - in aid of Save the Children, this carol concert will take place in College Hall. Tickets from June Chase MBE on 01568 720416.

Handel’s Messiah (December 5, 7.30pm) - a candlelit performance of Handel’s most famous work from Hereford Choral Society and Marches Baroque. Since its premiere in 1742, Messiah has been performed by choirs around the world – and has become a Christmas favourite. The libretto was penned by Charles Jennens, an editor of Shakespeare’s plays, uses text from the King James Bible. For tickets, priced £10-£25, call the Courtyard on 01432 340555 or buy online at www.herefordchoralsociety.org/tickets

Schools Donkey Nativity (December 9, 11am) - animals of every shape of size (well.. within reason) welcome inside the Cathedral for this family-friendly service. The nativity carol service for schools will tell the story of Christmas with the help of KS2 children, donkeys and other animals. Booking is essential. Call 01432 374256 or email education@herefordcathedral.org.

Christmas Craft and Food Fair (December 11 - 12) - this popular festive fair will feature over 30 stalls of local crafts, food and drink, seasonal produce and gifts, with mince pies, hot coffee, mulled wine and entertainment. Entry if free, with donations supporting a range of Herefordshire charities. The fair is sponsored by Hampton Hire, Hop Pocket Wines and allpay. On the Saturday, there’ll be carols from noon.

Ex Cathedra Consort: Gaudete! (December 16, 7.30pm) - Ex Cathedra Consort, an early music choir, are back at Hereford Cathedral with a performance of Padilla’s Missa ego flos campi. There’ll also be seasonal music and readings from the 13th to 18th-centuries. Tickets £10 - £30 from the Cathedral Shop on 01432 374210 and 01432 374261.

Festival of Lessons and Carols (December 22 and 23, 7pm) - admission by ticket only: application forms can be collected from the cathedral from 1 November, or downloaded from www.herefordcathedral.org.

Christingle Nativity Workshop, College Hall (December 23, 10.30am to noon) - make Christingles at a family workshop. There will also be light refreshments and the Christmas story, in preparation for the service on Christmas Eve.

Christingle Nativity Service (December 24, 3pm) - a celebration of Christmas light for children and families, with the telling of the Christmas story and the distribution of Christingles. At 5.30pm, there will be Choral Evensong with Blessing of the Crib.

Christmas Oratorio (January 30, 7pm) - Bach’s choral masterwork performed by Hereford Cathedral Choir with international soloists and Marches Baroque, conducted by Geraint Bowen. Supported by the Alan Cadbury Charitable Trust. Tickets available from Hereford Cathedral Shop or by telephone from 01432 374261.

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