Cathedral Characters is the first in a series of creative projects which sees Newcastle Cathedral collaborating with regional schools and community groups as part of its multi-million pound National Lottery Heritage Fund project, Common Ground in Sacred Space. Working with local illustrator Josie Brookes, students used various experimental drawing and collage techniques to bring to life some of the city’s historical figures memorialised in the Cathedral’s vast ledger stone collection.
Those depicted in the colourful creations include Jane and John Hancock, who were both keen naturalists and parents of Albany and John Hancock, instrumental figures in the development of the Great North Museum: Hancock; Lady Jane Clavering who was a powerful businesswoman; Joseph Barber who sold books, stationery and pharmaceutical products; Matthew Prior who made instruments, toys and false teeth, and Mary Pawson who was a popular local wine merchant!
Lindy Gilliland, Project Manager at Newcastle Cathedral, said: “I’m thrilled that our first major schools’ exhibition is on view in the churchyards for the whole city to see. The children have been really imaginative in portraying historical figures commemorated in the Cathedral and the results show how engaged they were with these people’s stories. We hope that lots of visitors will enjoy the exhibition and also the amazing memorials which lie inside. I’m looking forward to many more schools taking part in the Cathedral’s activities programme over the coming year”.
Premier’s Northern Correspondent Ian Britton was invited to the launch and you can listen to his report below.