Every three years Hereford Cathedral hosts the "Three Choirs Festival", the oldest music Festival in Europe. To celebrate the 2006 festival “The Courtyard Centre for the Arts” in Hereford chose an artist from each of the three counties to mount an exhibition reflecting an ecclesiastical or musical theme. Being chosen to represent Herefordshire I embarked on a series of work to explore the tangible qualities of the cathedral in conjunction with the intangible nature of Choral music. The work had three parts to it, observational studies within the Cathedral, visual analysis of Edward Elgar’s “the Kingdom”, and work that brought together these two elements.
The observation studies in the cathedral spanned many months. It is through this analysis of the building one became aware of the atmosphere within the building created by nearly 1,000 years of worship and music. I also became familiar with the way the building has been changed over the years, either through essential repair to the structure or to modify it to new requirements
Elgar’s “the Kingdom” is a massive choral work that was totally unfamiliar to me. I spent many hours studying the score and listening to a recording. I had an edited disk made so that I could listen to chosen sections, some as short as four bars, over and over again so that I could reflect on the mood and structure of the piece.
The two elements of work came together in a series of paintings and drawings bringing together the structure and spirit of the Cathedral and Elgar's sublime work.