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> > > Multimedia art project to be staged at Exeter Cathedral
photo of a man standing looking into a camera, inside Exeter cathedral

Mark Ware on location in Exeter Cathedral. Photo by Cara Ware

Multimedia artist Mark Ware has been awarded Arts Council Grants for the Arts funding to develop and produce an exciting, innovative high quality multimedia digital art project in collaboration with Exeter Cathedral, to interpret its history that spans nine centuries, using digital and HD technology, bringing new audiences to both the Cathedral and this art form.

Entitled Cathedra 900, the work will consist of two parts:
Cathedra 900 part one will be an exhibition of the artist’s 3D digital artwork in the form of a 28 large scale banners that will hang throughout the Nave in Exeter Cathedral from its 14 giant columns.  The 3D banners will be viewed by the general public using red/cyan 3D glasses.  The exhibition of 3D banners will be on display from 23rd July 2012 until 31st August 2012.

Cathedra 900 part two will be a live multimedia event to be staged on 5th, 6th and 7th March 2013.  Each performance will consist of classical music performed by four acclaimed international professional classical musicians and a series of readings of creative writing by young people, followed by a premiere screening and performance of a new piece of work created by Mark Ware entitled ‘Nine Hundred Years of Light’. 

‘Nine Hundred Years of Light’ will be an HD video composition projected onto a large screen within the Cathedral’s Nave accompanied by live music and the spoken word together with a lighting sequence projected onto the Cathedral’s interior walls and vaulted ceiling.

Also included in Cathedra 900 part two will be a 16 x audio channel soundscape presented within the Cathedral during visitor hours.  The soundscape will use natural sounds that have been in existence for the past 900 years.  This work will be influenced by Mark Ware’s current science/art project where he is working with children with cerebral palsy and autistic children to explore how natural sounds affect the brain.

Cathedra 900 will have a dedicated website that will be used to document project development and to exhibit project art online as and when it’s completed, including an online version of the live performance.  The website will also be used to exhibit the art of other artists and young people’s creative writing with work that connects with the project themes in various ways.

In addition, during the development and production of Cathedra 900, a series of creative workshops will be staged by the artists and other arts professionals at the Cathedral.  These will include digital photography, digital video, creative writing and voice coaching.

Mark Ware says:

“Cathedra 900 will be a celebration and an interpretation of the time line of the Cathedral building and a personal expression of what the Cathedral represents today and moving forward into the future.

I'm fascinated by this building in terms of how its relative perceived scale and its impact have evolved over centuries, as surrounding activities and town and city structures and sounds have changed. I'm interested in the erosion and additional construction over time of the building, and other changes that have altered its personality, and I'm also drawn to the idea of the Cathedral being an 'observer', looking down on the people and the surrounding landscape below, as a symbol of permanence and reassurance since the 12th Century.

Exeter Cathedral is a wonderful and important structure and it will be a privilege for me to present Cathedra 900 within its walls.” 

Canon Ian Morter, Exeter Cathedral says:

"The Dean and Chapter of Exeter Cathedral are very pleased to welcome this exhibition where the presentation of the arts and craftsmanship of past centuries is  presented in the modern media of 3D followed by the subsequent film, sound installation and live concert event. These projects fulfill our Cathedral’s aspiration to be at the meeting place where ‘the sacred and secular and the spirit and senses meet’.  We are enthused by the artistic interpretation that Mark Ware will bring so easily to the many and diverse visitors to this historic and sacred place."