Stroud’s Swithin Fry writes: ‘Totally fabulous art show at the venerable Gloucester Cathedral.’
See more about Russell Haines: http://www.russellhaines.co.uk/
We are aware of hopes that this exhibition will be able to happen again in Gloucestershire. This is what Glos Cathedral wrote about it: “Faith” by artist Russell Haines – New Exhibition at Gloucester Cathedral: 14 January – 26 February.
The Dean of Gloucester, The Very Revd Stephen Lake said; ‘Being a place of hospitality is important to us, especially in our local multi-cultural context. This art exhibition and its opening meeting is an important expression of the need to come together with people different from ourselves. That said, the cathedral as sacred space and common ground is daily living out its vocation as a distinctive place of Christian witness and worship, confident in the love and uniqueness of Jesus Christ.
‘To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith,
no explanation is possible.’
‘Faith’ by artist Russell Haines is a unique exhibition that has been created not only from a love of art but from a desire to explore today’s culture, specifically the many different faiths and beliefs of the individual people that live alongside us. The aim is not to look at where we are all different but rather, despite this, where do we all have similarities. The exhibition will use large, bold portrait art combined with some unique video interviews filmed by the University of Gloucestershire to promote unity and help bring communities together.
The exhibition of 37 large portraits will run for 6 weeks at Gloucester Cathedral before moving to the Christian Arts Festival in Cheltenham and then onto Gloucester College, where it will be used as an educational tool before going on to a London venue. Each subject portrays an individual from a different religion, faith or belief system and includes Zoroastrians, Druids, Witches, Pagans and Baha’i as well as all the other more well known religions. It includes the first portrait of the Bishop of Gloucester, The Right Reverend Rachel Treweek who is the first female Bishop to sit in the House of Lords. The painting has now been sold and is on loan to the exhibition.
The private launch event looks set to be one of the biggest and interesting events the Cathedral has ever seen with approximately 600 people likely to attend to see the art and the enjoy the unique blend of entertainment and culture that will include several Cathedral firsts. The launch entertainment in the Cathedral includes:
- Buddhist chanting
- Rasta drumming
- Hindu dancing
- Rasta story telling
- Salvation Army brass band
- Jewish Klezmer band
- Gospel choir
- Pagan rock band
- A Fire eating vicar
- Face painting
- Much more
The artist, Russell Haines, is quickly becoming one of the country’s most exciting artists to watch. His unique expressionist style really brings out the character of his subjects, allowing his portraits to really come to life. Russell, who originally only took up painting 6 years ago for medical reasons following a stroke, wants his art to help communities and deliver social impact.
“I hope in a small way my art can help the viewer to see past the label and see instead the person contained within the portrait. Each of them is unique and yet also very alike, trying to live their lives in the best way they can. The only difference is how each of them expresses their view of the world. Is that such a big difference?”
Russell Haines January 2017
The event will really be an exciting event full of firsts for the world of faith.