Trafalgar Square is well known as the location for the world famous art collections in the National Portrait Gallery and National Gallery. But in the Crypt of St Martin’s we have our own special space for art lovers.
The Gallery in the Crypt’s dramatic 18th Century architecture makes a stunning backdrop to display modern art and photography. Exhibitions are open to the public on Monday – Tuesday 8.00am to 8.00pm, Wednesday 8.00am to 6.00pm, Thursday – Saturday 8.00am to 9.00pm and Sunday 11.00am – 6.00pm. If we have to close the Gallery for a private event the details will be listed here.
From 2016 the Gallery will be home to a semi-permanent display of art works from the Saint John’s Bible. St Martin’s was donated a set of the Heritage editions of the Saint John’s Bible (currently on display in the foyer). Given the huge variety of beautiful illustrations in the Bible the display will change in format throughout the year. From time to time this exhibition will be interspersed with occasional shows that support causes that are close to the work of St Martin’s or are closely linked with charities that we work with in our day to day life.
The Saint John’s Bible, Heritage edition, presented to St Martin-in-the-Fields in 2009
Created by the monks of Saint John’s Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minnesota under the creative direction of Donald Jackson, the Saint John’s Bible is a union of an ancient Benedictine tradition with the technology and vision of today, illuminating the Word of God for a new millennium of multiple cultures and multiple faiths.
St Martin-in-the-Fields has been given a Heritage Edition of the Saint John’s Bible. It was a gift from Saint John’s Abbey made possible by the generosity of Dan and Katherine Whalen. Created in a series of seven volumes, the bible is used in services in Church and some of the volumes are on permanent display in the Foyer. Prints from the Saint John’s Bible are on display in the Gallery and posters are available in the Shop.
The Saint John’s Bible was commissioned in 1998 by the Roman Catholic Benedictine Monks of Saint John’s Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minnesota. It was created by a team of scribes, artists and craftspeople in a scriptorium in Monmouthshire under the artistic direction of Donald Jackson, one of the world’s foremost calligraphers and the scribe to HM Queen Elizabeth ll’s Crown Office and the House of Lords. Measuring more than two feet by three feet, the bible parallels that of its medieval predecessors, written on vellum, using quills, natural handmade inks, hand-ground pigments and gold leaf while incorporating modern themes, images and technology of the 21st century. The creation of the bible continues the Benedictine tradition of copying and caring for sacred texts. www.saintjohnsbible.org
Monday 1 June-Friday 31 July
This is a ground-breaking interfaith gathering of premier and emerging artists. The exhibition focuses on what they hold in common through their Arab, Persian and Jewish cultures and their Christian, Muslim and Jewish creeds. The Bridge is an East-West travelling art exhibition organised and curated by CARAVAN, an interreligious and intercultural peacebuilding NGO. It showcases the work of 47 premier contemporary visual artists from 15 countries. Each artist has submitted one original work (created specifically for the exhibition) addressing the theme. The Bridge opened on 2 February 2015 with a month-long exhibition in Paris to commemorate World Interfaith Harmony Week. After leaving St Martin-in-the-Fields the exhibition will be on display in Egypt and throughout Europe and the United States. The Bridge seeks the development of a world that inherently respects and honours cultural and religious diversity, living and working together in harmony. It does not pretend all religions are the same but highlights ways they can enrich and helpfully and creatively challenge one another.
Find out more about the artist’s work and exhibition.
Monday 20 July – Sunday 9 August
About a Strand by Lewis Phillips
About A Strand is based on the different extremes of life revolving around one of London’s major streets. The Strand is home to some of the world’s most famous landmarks, The Royal Courts of Justice, The Savoy, Somerset House along with elite restaurants and shops.
It is also home to some of the poorest people in the UK including some of the 5,000 people living homeless on the streets of London. This photographic essay depicts the huge diversity of the area from the high flyers to the poor who use the streets as a sanctuary for survival.
The exhibition subjects have shared their stories of success and struggle through their words and photographs. The project is hard-hitting but there it also shows the triumphs of people digging their way out of drug and alcohol abuse, mental health problems and long term unemployment in order to move on with their lives. www.lewisphillipsimages.com/about-a-strand
Tuesday 11 August – Sunday 6 September
Inside Out / Outside In
Inside Out / Outside in is a thought-provoking exhibition by three Quaker female artists. Featuring human landscapes, the exhibition provides an opportunity to depict, show and open dialogue around shared spiritual journeys. www.londonquakers.org
Tuesday 8 September – Saturday 3 October
Waste Nothing: Finding a Home for the Discarded
Throughout history, spinning and weaving traditions around the world have employed second-hand textiles that are re-used, repaired, and recycled to reappear in a completely different guise to start a new life. These traditional crafts have always made use of the by-products and waste matter from other processes to ensure that as little as possible of precious resources is wasted. Many of these ancient techniques are still in use today. This exhibition brings together original textiles and yarns designed and made by the members of the London Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers, breathing new life into old textiles, yarns and other materials. www.londonguildofweavers.org.uk
Tuesday 20 – Saturday 31 October 2015
Playing with Perception – an exhibition of paintings by Caroline Leaf
Her films, which use beach sand and paint as mediums, are renowned for their painterly technique, virtuoso camera moves, and captivating storytelling. In this new phase of her development as an artist the structure of her images is the story, and this structure becomes increasingly complex and intriguing. Her process with paint is improvisational. She sculpts with light, adding and taking away strokes of light and shade in order to discover the image.
“I chase accidents which have energy. I watch edges for meaning. Perception hangs on multiple and delicate inter-relationships within the image. A single stroke of paint can change the whole.”