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Easter explored through art in the city

Artworks and meditations exploring how Easter relates to the realities of the every day will form a slice of Manchester city centre life this Lent

The PassionArt Trail features more than 60 pieces of art by 20 artists from Manchester and beyond across six major venues from 5 March to 21 April. The series of reflections written around some of the artworks will aim to help people understand and engage meaningfully with the work.

Ecce Homo by Norman Adams. Jesus condemned to death on the cross - one of the 14 stations of the cross at St Mary's Church in the PassionArt Trail
The trail has been curated by artist Lesley Sutton, wife of Baptist minister the Revd Roger Sutton, who has partnered with the venues to share the Easter story. With 25 years of working with church and community groups, she believes the artworks will encourage will the public to make connections to their own lives.

‘The Easter passion story reflects on the universal themes of transformation, grief and loss, love and kindness and our longing for hope,’ she said.

‘The artworks and the written meditations that accompany them will encourage the public to make meaningful connections with their own lives - themes as betrayal, forgiveness, compassion, bereavement, and the fear of death are part of the universal human experience.’

The trail takes in a range of impressive venues, including non-gallery sites such as the John Rylands Library, the National Football Museum, Manchester Cathedral and St Ann’s Church.

Lesley hopes it will help to give viewers space to reflect on their own lives.

‘In the Christian tradition Lent is a season of quiet meditation, self-denial and pilgrimage. People from all cultures and faiths seek the path of solitude and simplicity in their search for meaning.

‘The PassionArt Trail creates opportunity for sanctuary in the midst of the busyness of modern life.’

Art works range from the figurative oil paintings of Woman of the Year 2008 artist Ghislaine Howard; a sound work based on the rhythm of the heartbeat of artist Jane Poulton’s mother in the last weeks of her life; two contemporary embroidered shrouds by Beverly Ayling-Smith; the abstract Stations of the Cross by Norman Adams admired by Sr Wendy Beckett; a series of photographs entitled ‘Last Meal on Death Row: Texas by Brit artist Mat Collishaw drawing links to the Last Supper of Christ, and many more traditional and contemporary works.

The program also includes an academic ‘Art and The Spiritual View Conference’ from 27-29 March at The Nazarene Theological College in Didsbury, and special PassionArt days at Manchester Art Gallery and The John Rylands Library with live musical performances by Epiphany.

Click below for:

The Visual Arts Trail

The Art and The Spiritual View Conference 

Lesley and her work

Baptist Times, 28/01/2014
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