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- 8.00pm, Wednesday 8.00am-6.00pm, Thursday-Saturday 8.00am-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.
Wednesday 1 March –Wednesday 10 May
Between Myth and Reality
A sculpture exhibition in the Foyer
Chaim Stephenson worked for over sixty years to produce a wide range of sculpture, of which this exhibition shows but a small part – pieces inspired by the stories in the Old Testament, and those that came out of his lifelong concern for people driven from their homes. Among the former, every sculpture tells a story, familiar and built into our culture and traditions. The refugee statues speak of a universal and contemporary reality that not only mattered profoundly to the artist but affects us all.
Chaim Stephenson was born in Liverpool to Russian Jewish immigrant parents. He served in the mines as a ‘Bevin boy’ before joining a group of young Jews who emigrated to Palestine. After fighting through the first Arab-Israeli war of 1948 he joined a kibbutz in western Galilee where he worked as a shepherd, sculpting in his limited free time. After a year in England studying and sculpting, he went back to Israel, and married writer Lynne Reid Banks. They returned to the UK in 1971 with their three sons. He spent the rest of his life as a working artist, dying last year aged 89.
The Living South Arica Memorial by Chaim Stephenson is on permanent display in church and St Martin’s is pleased to display a full exhibition of the work of this remarkable artist.
Tuesday 30 May – Monday 3 July
Les Colombes: The White Doves
This multimedia installation features a sculpture of a floating flight of more than 2,000 origami doves. Light moves around the space and over the sculpture simulating the doves in flight. A sound cloud especially composed for the installation, infuses the space with the sound of cooing and fluttering of wings. The installation seeks a sense of the Holy Spirit and creates an atmosphere full of calmness and virtue in a gentle and playful way.
Visitors to St Martin’s are invited to write a message of hope on a piece of white paper before folding it into a dove some of which will then be added to the flock. People of all faiths or of none, people who have homes or who are homeless, those who live or work locally or are visitors or refugees are inspired to create, fold, contemplate and reflect and to start new dialogues and ways of thinking. Visit our website for information and details on special opening nights.
Monday 22 May – Monday 12 June
One meal a day: the Lake Chad crisis in pictures
Imagine living off just one meal a day. This is the reality for some in Africa’s Lake Chad region where over nine million people are in need of the very basics to survive. Award-winning photographer Chris de Bode travelled to Cameroon with the British Red Cross to document the devastating humanitarian crisis unfolding in the Lake Chad region. Chris presents the story through food, telling the powerful individual accounts of conflict, displacement, refuge and hospitality of those surviving on so little.
Monday 3 July – Thursday 3 August
I AM is a peacebuilding art exhibition organised by CARAVAN that showcases the insights and experiences of Middle Eastern women as they confront issues of culture, religion and social reality in a rapidly changing world both in the Middle East and West. Designed to address stereotypes and challenge misconceptions of the ‘other’, the I AM exhibition will be a visual celebration of the crucial role that Middle Eastern women play in the enduring global quest for a more harmonious and peaceful future.