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Minster exhibition explores links between colonisation and Christianity

A new artwork displayed at Sunderland Minster explores the connection between colonisation and the growth of Christianity in African countries.

The artwork, titled Colonial Ghost, is by Cameroon-born artist Pascale Marthine Tayou and features 12 crosses each made up of five human figures held in place by prominent nails.

Pascale’s exhibition is part of a wider project called Glass Exchange, that will see four high-profile contemporary artists commissioned to create new work in glass. The commissions will be created at National Glass Centre and then exhibited at venues including Durham Cathedral and Sunderland Minster.

Pascale was born in Nkongsamba, Cameroon, and now lives and works in Ghent, Belgium and Yaoundé, Cameroon.

Julia Stephenson, Head of Arts, at National Glass Centre, said: “Through Colonial Ghost, Pascale aims to invite the viewer to consider connections between colonisation and the spread of Christianity in African countries.

“Pascale’s work is diverse both in terms of subject matter and media as are his references to geography, cultural origins and the human and natural world. His practice is closely linked to the idea of travel and of coming into contact with that which is new and different.”

The Rev Stuart Bain, who oversaw installation of Colonial Ghost before his retirement as Provost at Sunderland Minster, said: “The figures are very beautiful and the exhibition thought provoking. It’s had plenty of interest and comment from parishioners and visitors.”

Colonial Ghost is the first of the four commissions to be publicly displayed and it will be shown at Sunderland Minster until January, 2022 before being redisplayed at National Glass Centre, on a larger scale and with up to 25 crosses, from March 26 until September 11.

The other commissions are by Katie Paterson and Monster Chetwynd, both to be shown in Durham Cathedral, and by Ryan Gander whose work will be displayed in Sunderland city centre.

For further information and updates on Glass Exchange please go to www.nationalglasscentre.com or follow National Glass Centre on social media.