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Durham Cathedral - 'A Canticle of Creatures'

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Durham Artist Illuminates Cathedral

28 June 2016

Celebrated Durham artist Judy Hurst is presenting a major exhibition of her recent work in Durham Cathedral’s Galilee Chapel from 13 to 30 September. 

Regular visitors to the Cathedral may well be familiar with Judy, who is a frequent ‘artist-in-residence’ in the Cathedral shop, demonstrating her unique working techniques.

Judy’s bright and intricate work draws inspiration from the natural world and its relationship with Celtic Christianity of the North East, as well as from decorative and spiritual artwork from around the world. Judy said: “The colours bring great pleasure to people; it’s all about connection with other humans.” 

The Galilee Chapel, which also contains examples of the Cathedral’s surviving medieval wall-paintings, will provide a fitting space for over 16 new pieces, many of which are being shown for the first time. 

Many of Judy’s pieces are painted onto vellum, made using traditional methods from treated calf-skin which is stretched on a wooden frame.  Every year, Judy collects pebbles from Holy Island to use as ‘pippins’ which help attach the vellum to the frame.  The frames are made by Judy’s husband, John, who is also a fine artist and jeweller. 

Judy’s work features both abstract patterns and themes from nature.  The organic materials, 24 carat gold leaf, and bright, modern colours combine to create a style that is both contemporary and rooted in the past of her beloved North East. 

Judy’s work will be presented for individual sale, and limited edition prints will also be available, allowing purchasers with a range of budgets the opportunity to further enjoy these stunning pieces.

Judy can often be seen demonstrating her fascinating techniques in the Cathedral shop, where her large work celebrating Magna Carta is currently on display.  The Cathedral has also commissioned a major new piece from Judy for its Open Treasure exhibition experience, which will be unveiled at the Open Treasure opening on 23 July.

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