Exhibition: Paradise and Other Places

Exhibition: Paradise and Other Places

Exhibition 28 September–19 October 2023

Artist Mick Abbott has been working on this project theme for many years. It commences with birth and progresses through the seven ages of man to death and beyond. Amongst other things, the aim is to bring together the modern and the medieval in order to highlight the timeless experience of belief and the human experience. The exhibition will take place in the Chapter House, and admission is included with entry to the Cathedral.

As part of the exhibition, the artist would like to include some people who live and work in and around Wells, of any age and from all walks of life. If you would like to be a part of this exhibition, please send a natural relaxed photo of your head, taken on your phone, to mickabbottartist@yahoo.co.uk

Paradise and other places…

“A long time ago I walked into a north-west Norfolk church and was stunned by the beauty of a stained-glass window made from the shattered remains of medieval shards left scattered on the stone floors after a visit from Dowsing. The mosaic of a hand, eyes, colour, symbols and lines that had lost their original meanings, reflected a somehow meaningful chaos.

“Ever since, I have sought to create, or perhaps to reflect, reality as I see it, compassion as I feel it.

“My drawings and paintings echo my thoughts about those that lived when this Cathedral was young, those that lived and worshipped, knew love and sorrow, motherhood and death, just like those who live and worship here and now … except that suffering can be on a grander scale today, because of wider communication networks and augmented technology leading to larger scale destruction (give or take the odd plague …).

“The human beings we see in the sculptures of yesterday could be photographs of you and me today. Through the ages we have asked ourselves the same questions, have had the same quests, have felt the same emotions and feelings as we travel through time and human experience. Through the Seven Ages of Man.

“All the world’s a stage” as Shakespeare so rightly said in As You Like It, “and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages”. Through infancy, the time at school, the lover and then the soldier, the person of justice “full of wise saws and modern instances”. And then the sixth age, “with spectacles … and manly voice turning again toward childish treble” to finish in “second childishness … sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything”.

“We may not reach the age of second childishness, but whoever we are, wherever we are lucky enough, or unlucky enough, to be born, our human experience will depend on how we are able cope with and open up to the world around us.

“Whether pilgrims or refugees, acts of mercy and compassion or destruction of the dignity of mankind, in my work I seek to bring the outside world into the silent world within these stones, and by doing so to provoke thoughts, create interest and inspire acts of compassion.

A last thought …

“Could Paradise quite simply be a state of being satisfied with what we have, rather than wishing for things out of our reach, being happy where we are and not longing for elsewhere? And from this could spring the strength to rebel against and resist what is unfair and unjust.”

About the Artist

Mick Abbott taught art in Cambridge for more than 30 years and loved it. Now a full-time artist, he exhibits in private galleries and exhibitions in Brittany, where he now lives and works. He has also exhibited in Tintern Abbey and the Cathedrals in Ely and Peterborough, Rippon and Wells and churches around Cambridge and Norfolk.




Click here to see the full list of exhibition dates.

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