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Dear God...
“Hardly anyone can ever find God because God is right at the end of your mind after all the background thoughts are gone.”
Maisie Satchwell-Hust

Southwark Cathedral

"Footfall" Lent Art Installation

Footfall was the ninth Lent Art Installation at Southwark Cathedral which was on display until Good Friday, 19 April 2019.


The installation was a new work by visual artist Alison Clark. The artist worked with printmaker’s fabric (scrim) which was dyed with printer’s ink. This was used to make prints taken from places in the Cathedral that have been worn by footfall, such as the ledger stones in the Cathedral retrochoir (the oldest part of the Cathedral). These prints travelled from above the reredos to the sanctuary floor, signalling the passage of worshippers who have travelled through the Cathedral across time. Footfall focused attention on traces of worship and pilgrimage in the Cathedral. This was particularly resonant as the fabric, scrim, is used by printmakers in the cleaning process and so is usually hidden from view. By using scrim as the focal point to accentuate wear and use (rather than removing it), Alison Clark was able to draw attention to the beauty of this simplest of materials.


Southwarks Annual Lent Art Installations are about giving people new access points to the Cathedral, through an exploration of unconventional materials and mediums. Our intention is always to bring new contemporary art to those who may not otherwise access it. The visitor profile is broad, spanning from those who are in the Sunday congregation to tourists and concert audiences.




During Lent the art piece informed the preaching in the Cathedral to help lead the congregation and visitors through The Passion. The art thus became the focus of all that we did during this key period.

The 2019 Lent Art Installation brought new audiences to the Cathedral, and made the Cathedral a more stimulating and interactive environment where visitors and members of the congregation were able to respond to the themes of Lent through engagement with the artwork.


Footfall is the latest in Southwark Cathedral’s series of Lent installations, where world-renowned artists have provided pieces of their work to act as a focus for contemplation and reflection during Lent. Since 2012, works by David Mach RA, Nic Fiddian-Green, Angela Wright, Edmund de Waal OBE, and Susie MacMurray have been exhibited.


Photo credits: Alison Clark