Art exhibition looks at life, death and resurrection

As we start Lent on Wednesday [February 14], you might be interested in a new art exhibition which is being hosted by our cathedral.
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We’re delighted to be collaborating with the Jack House Gallery to showcase this exciting exhibition of work by Portsmouth artist Garrick Palmer. The exhibition draws together a series of Palmer’s paintings, prints and studies to explore the Biblical story of the raising of Lazarus from the dead.

It opens on Ash Wednesday, which is just two days away, and will be in place for the Lent and the Easter season, ending on April 14.

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There are a series of cathedral events running alongside the exhibition, which offer an invitation to explore the paintings and prints further. They look at themes of birth, baptism, life, death and resurrection in the Christian tradition.

Canon Harriet Neale-Stevens.Canon Harriet Neale-Stevens.
Canon Harriet Neale-Stevens.

Garrick Palmer made his first Lazarus painting while he was a star student at the Royal Academy in around 1957, and went on to win the prestigious Gold Medal prize that year. That painting and several others on Biblical themes were shown in Portsmouth in 1958 or 1959.

The group of Lazarus-themed artworks being shown in 2024 have been generously lent from private collections, including the Tower Eastbourne and the estate of Garrick Palmer. The exhibition in our cathedral was a project very dear to Garrick Palmer’s heart and much discussed before he sadly died in July 2023.

The raising of Lazarus, which can be found in John’s gospel, has been portrayed by artists through the centuries. In his exploration of this story, Garrick Palmer gives us a striking new vision of the Lazarus story.

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He skilfully draws out layers of meaning, exploring the boundaries between life and death, heaven and earth, and invites us to consider the links between Christ’s birth, baptism, death and resurrection and our own.

I’ll be speaking on February 29 at 7pm about the imagery in his work at an event in our cathedral. Other events associated with the exhibition are a question-and-answer session with Rebecca Crow from Jack House Gallery at 7pm on March 7, and a five-week Lent course exploring death and resurrection, from February 21 until March 20.

There are also two services where we’ll join together music and words based on the theme of Lazarus being raised, at 5.45pm on February 25 and on March 24.

Find out more about these events and more on www.portsmouthcathedral.org.uk/lazarus.

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