Church trail reaching out to Yorkshire through art

Seven churches in North Yorkshire are using art to reach out to their community as part of a new project by charity, Art in the Churches.

The project, Sculpt, has bought together seven artists to create site-specific installation pieces for each church. North Stainley, West Tanfield, Well, Snape, Masham, Healey and Mickley church will each benefit as the hosts of work by top international artists whose pieces were inspired by a brief to “respond to space”.

The event will run until 28 September across a 26-mile trail, offering all of the ingredients for an enriching, educational and stimulating visit to buildings that form an essential part of the fabric of British culture.

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The art pieces include Harriet Hill’s sculpture, 'Rock of Ages', which takes the form of a huge floating rock. Measuring nearly three metres long, it is created from woven willow and felt made from the wool of the local Masham sheep, along with straw, baler twine and bale netting. It represents the layering of history, in particular relating to the people who have worked the land and lived around the church through its more than 1000 years of history.

Art in the Churches is a new initiative that aims to re-engage people with churches through cultural events. It is supported by the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, who is patron. As well as offering opportunities for education and community involvement, there is also a treasure hunt to engage children at each church.

Peter Mojsa, Grants Officer at Allchurches Trust, said: "We are so glad to support this imaginative programme, displaying some really thought provoking pieces of art, in some really fantastic churches in a beautiful area of North Yorkshire"

Sculpt is thought to be the first event of its kind in the UK. It takes place at the same time as Yorkshire Sculpture International, making Yorkshire the top destination for sculpture in the UK in 2019.

A grant from Allchurches Trust has helped make this art project possible alongside other generous donors such as the Arts Council, the Jerusalem Trust, Skipton Hire Centres, The Arts Society North East Area, Concord Lighting and the Himalayan Garden.

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