Chester Cathedral paper sculpture welcomed to the fold

Reporter:

Neil Bellis

In a first for the city, a large-scale work of art made entirely from paper will take up residence in the South Transept of Chester Cathedral this Easter.

The sculptural installation by Yorkshire artist Richard Sweeney will be suspended from the cathedral ceiling in a unique composition. The piece – named Metamorphosis – is made from several metres of delicate, white, hand-pleated paper and will appear weightless.

Richard Sweeney creates sculptures inspired by the organic structures and growth patterns in nature. He seeks to maintain an experimental, hands-on approach, utilising the unique properties of mundane materials to discover unique forms. He works predominantly with paper.

Richard was born in Huddersfield in 1984. He discovered a natural talent for sculpture at Batley School of Art and Design in 2002, which led him to the study of Three Dimensional Design at the Manchester Metropolitan University.

In recent years, Richard has worked on public sculpture commissions from all around the world. He produced an Angel figure for a department store in Milan complete with a wing comprised of twenty metres of pleated cartridge paper. In 2012, he produced a set of Olympic Horses for the Nave of Lincoln Cathedral.

Richard Sweeney said: “Working within the space at Chester Cathedral has allowed me to produce one of the largest paper installation pieces to date. Each installation work responds to the space in which it is situated – the unique layout of the architecture dictating how the piece is composed; transformed from a flat sheet of paper to a dynamic and fluid volume through tension and gravity.”

Vice Dean of Chester Cathedral, Canon Jane Brooke, said: “We are delighted to see Richard Sweeney’s work in the cathedral this Easter and think people will very much enjoy viewing it.

“The Metamorphosis piece is truly majestic – especially against the backdrop of our South Transept – and its simplicity and delicacy demands a contemplative response. The smaller pieces are also fascinating – so intricate.”

See full story in the Chester Leader

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