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Home / News / The Chichester Nativity

The Chichester Nativity

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Published 00:00 on 10 Dec 2020

Chichester Cathedral is delighted
to present The Chichester
Nativity
, a major new art installation which heralds the heroes of the
COVID-19 pandemic from the local community and across the counties of East and
West Sussex.

The artwork will be presented in
the Cathedral to mark the period of Advent and Christmas and depicts a unique
presentation of the Nativity story for 2020. Created by Visual Arts Advisor
and Curator Jacquiline Creswell, and Artist and Photographer Ash Mills, it is
an immersive photographic installation sharing the familiar story of the
Nativity in the style of a renaissance tableau.

Characters in the scene have been
drawn from local organisations, charities and medical services and paired
symbolically to the roles within the Nativity, with angels acting as
guardians of health and wellbeing; shepherds as providers of food and
resources; the Magi as people who have learned from experience and are now
leaders of their community. Each participant was photographed individually,
before being edited into the composite image. Participating organisations
include: BBC Radio Sussex, the Bell Tower Drop-In, Chichester District
Foodbank, Chichester Festival Theatre, Heart, Sanctuary in Chichester,
Stagecoach, Stonepillow, Wellington Grange and Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The photographic artwork is
printed onto sheer voile banners and hung principally above the Cathedrals
historic Arundel Screen, leading into the Nave and Baptistry. In the arches
on either side of the Arundel Screen we see a traditional scene of Mary,
Joseph and Baby Jesus surrounded by shepherds; the arch on the opposite side
of the Screen is filled with scenes and characters in the story. One large
banner is located above the Arundel Screen, with characters in the story
pointing to the new born child. The Star of Bethlehem is represented with an
image of the recent Neowise comet which visited close by the earth during
lockdown and the artwork also incorporates part of Chichesters 540 year old
Market Cross.

The artwork will remain in the Cathedral until 3rd February. Visit the Cathedral website for
details and updates on opening times, and guidance for visiting safely in
response to guidance issued by Public Health England, and specific guidance
for places of worship from the Church of England.

Image: Ash Mills

Last updated 09:14 on 3 March 2021

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