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“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

The Small House

“The Small House” is the eleventh annual art installation at Southwark Cathedral. The artwork was on display to the public from Saturday 6th August – Wednesday 31st August 2022.
The commissioned 2022 art installation by internationally renowned artist Richard Woods, “The Small House” – an 8 metre tall 2D model of a house – was installed in front of Southwark Cathedral’s high altar/great screen, and aimed to provoke reflection on issues including housing, homelessness, the cost-of-living crisis, and environmental sustainability.

In addition, the siting of the artwork also highlighted the majesty of the Cathedral, and drew viewers to the stories and narratives housed within the Cathedral (whilst playfully disrupting the architecture and existing works of art in the Cathedral).

The artist’s practice is based on architectural installations characterised by cartoon-like decorative surfaces, bold patterns and vibrant colours (proposing an absurd twist on home improvement and DIY aesthetics).
Alongside this installation – and in response to the themes of the artwork - Southwark Cathedral is now part of the “Cool London” initiative, which means the Cathedral is free to access, and provides shaded seating, toilets and free drinking water on site. Worship services reflected on the themes of the artwork – including on the themes of cost of living, housing and homelessness – and content was produced to provide interpretation about the artwork.

The Cathedral is progressing its work to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030 (the Cathedral now has a sustainability group and has removed its investments from non-environmentally friendly companies).

The Cathedral is now also an A Rocha UK Eco Church Bronze Award holder, and is working toward attaining Silver and Gold Awards. “The Small House” formed part of the Cathedral’s wider environmental sustainability programme, which has also included hosting Luke Jerram’s touring artwork “Gaia” in October 2022 https://my-earth.org/)
Southwark Cathedral’s annual art installation series has gained tremendous momentum since its inception in 2012, attracting interest on television, radio, print and social media.

Visitor footfall along the walk from Royal Festival Hall to City Hall had returned to pre-pandemic levels, which presented an opportunity to increase the Cathedral’s visitor numbers and improve visitor engagement in the first normal summer since the pandemic.

For more infomation please see: 
Twitter: @Southwarkcathed   
Facebook: @southwarkcathedral  
(Photo: Richard Woods)
Southwark Cathedral is a centre for daily worship within the English choral tradition, and is open and free to the public every day. We provide inclusive public access to the Cathedral and its work for local people and visitors, attracting almost 200,000 visitors each year. People of all demographics – including underserved groups – have opportunities to participate in events and activities, including free tours, talks and art workshops.
Richard Woods’ (b. 1966, Chester, UK) architectural installations are characterised by cartoon-like surfaces, bold patterns and vibrant colours. Woods completed a major architectural commission in South Korea for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, designed an interior for the Comme des Garçons’ flagship store in Osaka, orchestrated the mock Tudor overhaul of a private residence in New York and transformed the interior of Cary Grant’s former Hollywood residence for its new owner, Jeffrey Deitch. In 2003, his re-paving of a cloistered courtyard was the centrepiece of The Henry Moore Foundation’s exhibition at the 50th International Venice Biennale of Art.
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