The Life of St. Bede

The Life of St. Bede, Monster Chetwynd

Durham Cathedral

On show from 26 March – 11 September

Please check Durham Cathedral’s opening times before planning your visit.

The Life of St. Bede is an installation which is part of National Glass Centre’s major project Glass Exchange.

View photos of The Life of St. Bede

Photos by David Wood

About the artist and installation

Monster Chetwynd was born in London in 1973. She now lives and works in Zürich, Switzerland.

Monster is known for her exuberant performance pieces, featuring handmade costumes, props and sets. She describes her work as ‘impatiently made’, often re-using materials that are immediately to hand. The concept of the bricoleur or DIY is central to the work and many performers she invites to participate are part of this, emphasizing the notion of collective development that informs much of the artist’s work.

Monster’s Glass Exchange commission has similarities and differences to her usual practice. The Life of St. Bede is a commission consisting of four scenes. Two scenes depict moments from The Venerable Bede’s life and two depict moments from St. Cuthbert’s life as described in Bede’s writings. While objects handmade in glass are significantly archivally sound and permanent, each scene has a level of vibrancy that runs throughout Monster Chetwynd’s work. They have been collectively developed, there is a great range of content, colour and detail and one scene in particular has a large, albeit nautical group of performers.

The Life of St. Bede is on display at Durham Cathedral in the Galilee Chapel from 26th March until 11 September 2022.

Credit: © Monster Chetwynd, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London. Photo: Martin Argyroglo

Glass Exchange is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, with additional funding from Art Fund, Henry Moore Foundation and the Coastal Communities Fund, and with thanks to the University of Sunderland and Durham Cathedral. 

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