Dark, powerful, shocking – just some of the adjectives used to describe a free sculpture exhibition at Chester Cathedral which is creating a real buzz this Easter.
Watch The Chronicle video to get a feel for the Golgotha Exhibition by David Mach, which depicts the crucifixion in three huge metal sculptures made out of thousands of coat hangers.
Mach, a Turner prize nominee, is one of Britain’s leading sculptors. His work, which featured on Granada Reports and BBC North West Tonight last week, helped attract extra visitors to the cathedral over the weekend.
Cathedral spokeswoman Emma Roberts said week-on-week visitor figures were almost 70% up which was being attributed to the exhibition even though it only opened to the public on Friday.
Comments had ranged from 'it's not comfortable' to 'provocative' and 'shocking', added Emma: "It's a crucifixion so it's never going to be a comfortable subject. And it's made out of spiky metal coat hangers. Hopefully it will start a conversation and get people thinking."
David Mach said: “Golgotha is my largest coat hanger piece to date, made for the original Precious Light anniversary show in 2011. I wanted this sculpture to be dramatic. It is an epic, violent scene. So the sculpture needed to have as much pathos as possible. I extruded the coat hanger hooks outward to reflect that and to me they seem to capture the agony of the moment.”
The three sculptures, on display until May 1, 2016, are nearly 6m high, weigh almost a ton each – and if you really like what you see, you can buy the collection because it’s on sale for a cool £1.2m.
Mach’s work explores materiality on a grand scale, by bringing together multiples of mass-produced objects, such as magazines, coat hangers, newspapers and car tyres, in large installations. His work is representational, humorous and sometimes controversial.
The cathedral is still playing host to Mach’s sculpture of Jesus Christ, made entirely out of burned matches, which can be seen in the admissions area.
Mach added: “I work in so many different ways with so many different materials using so many different processes in order to feed the need of my themes - excess, extravagance, individuality, survival. I want blood and guts in my work – jealousy, rape, mayhem, pestilence, famine and flood. Love, peace, hope, sex and lust!”
Further details about The Golgotha Exhibition can be found at www.chestercathedral.com/david-mach