800 Years of Art

Ian Berry explores Salisbury’s historic cathedral

Born in Lancashire and now living in Salisbury, Magnum photographer Ian Berry‘s most recent work is far removed from his more widely known work in Apartheid South Africa.   His study of the Salisbury Cathedral covers 800 years of art that fills the magnificent space.  As Berry notes, “When built, these majestic medieval cathedrals were the art galleries of their day, none more so than Salisbury with its single style architecture of slender columns and soaring ceilings and its sculptures, larger than life on the west door depicting saints and bishops. On a more intimate scale in the Chapter House, carvings of ordinary people going about their business. What is so wonderful is that the mason who carved these small masterpieces used the faces of the workers around him to bring the frieze of daily life at that time, to vivid relief for everyone looking at them now.”

While his work covers many, varied facets of the art (and life) within the cathedral, I have focussed on three that illustrate some of the stained glass.

Les Colombes, a Michael Pendry InstallationIan Berry/Magnum Photos (2018) – Artist Michael Pendry’s installation of 2,500 white origami doves ‘fly’ the length of the nave. Salisbury Cathedral, Salisbury.

Salisbury Cathedral - Magna Carta

Ian Berry/Magnum Photos (2015) – The London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jaime Martin rehearsing for that evening’s concert during Magna Carta year; the conductor and stained glass windows reflected in the still waters of the font.

Salisbury CathedralIan Berry/Magnum Photos (2017) – One of the permanently employed glass restorers shows a piece of medieval stained glass window he is working on.

Leave a Reply