New sculpture in Newcastle Cathedral


A new sculpture designed to show Jesus’ legacy of love and sacrifice is the latest artwork to be displayed in Newcastle Cathedral – part of a series of works of art to reflect its rich heritage and history.

New sculpture in Newcastle Cathedral tells of Jesus’ legacy of love and sacrifice

Legacy, by Artist Roberta Fulford, is crafted from 150 yards of walnut veneer and depicts the transformative moment on the cross where Jesus became unlimited energy flowing into the world.

And for Roberta, who completed her arts degree at Northumbria University in Newcastle before moving to one of the outer islands of Shetland, this piece also represents a kind of homecoming.

She was drawn to creating a piece for the cathedral after attending an event there and was therefore delighted when she was asked to share more of her initial ideas.

She says:

“I felt incredibly moved and honored to have this opportunity. It is without a doubt the most wonderful thing in my creative life so far, especially because of the beautiful and caring environment.

“The trust that the team placed in me to create the work in situ was an honor and I was determined to try to meet their expectations. I hope the work will connect with visitors to the cathedral and perhaps elicit a personal emotional response to enrich their experience in this beautiful spiritual place.

Legacy can be found on display above the entrance to the Chapel Arch of Newcastle’s Medieval Crypt and is the latest in a series of exhibits and installations that respond to the rich history of the Newcastle Cathedral.

Newcastle Cathedral closed in January 2020 and reopened in August 2021 following a £6million project by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Common Ground in Sacred Space which significantly transformed the nave, redesigned its outdoor space for greater public engagement and introduced new audiovisual heritage presentations.

Since its reopening, the cathedral has welcomed a wide range of bespoke commissions and existing works of art and the cathedral is committed to continuing this tradition.

Lindy Gilliland, project manager of Common Ground in Sacred Space said:

“Cathedrals are intriguing and exciting spaces for artists to create and exhibit their work.

“The nature of these spaces makes them ideally suited to exploring themes and topics related to faith, heritage and today’s society.”

“We look forward to building relationships with artists whose work truly resonates with our values, our historic place and our urban context.”

Legacy will be visible until the end of December.

A temporary exhibition, Hidden Stories: We Are the Pelicans runs until Monday 28 November and was created by Newcastle print and pattern designer Shiori Naruse alongside a group of women who accessed the services provided by Changing Lives.

Other exhibits have included We depend on our words celebrate the diversity of LGBTQ+ people with ties to the cathedral, Light’, a showcase of the works of the Northern Potters Association, and What is a Safe Space? created by people who experienced homelessness while living in the Northeast.

Sarah Troughton’s “Transformation” aired in May and depicted the phases of transformation experienced by survivors as a result of church-related abuse.

Exhibits have also included “A Century of Wedding Dresses”, and. Friday 2 December will see the launch of ‘From St Nicholas to Santa Claus’, an exploration of the evolving identity of the cathedral’s patron saint.

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