Crucible hailed a success
The ‘Crucible’ exhibition at Gloucester Cathedral has been a resounding success, Gloucester Cathedral announced today. The exhibition of 76 works of art by 48 sculptors, many of whom are internationally famous artists, ran for nine and a half weeks from 1 September to 7 November and was supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
Around 136,000 people visited the Cathedral during the period of the exhibition – an increase of approximately 57,000 (or 72%) on the equivalent period last year.
Contrary to expectations, visitor numbers built steadily from the half-way point of the exhibition, reaching a peak of over 18,000 visitors in the half term week. Due to the demand, the exhibition was extended by one week until 7 November. Some visitors in that last week were disappointed that they couldn’t buy a catalogue, as the 3,000 available sold out the day after the original closing date of the exhibition. Over 20,000 exhibition maps were sold.
The exhibition has also been hailed a critical success and has featured in many national and local papers, art publications and blogs. A review of the exhibition in the Church Times commented: “curators worldwide would envy its range and excitement”.
Curator Rungwe Kingdon of Gallery Pangolin said: “It has been a great success. It’s wonderful that the synergy between the medieval Cathedral and the newest of contemporary sculpture could be such a catalytic combination.”
Nearly 2500 schoolchildren and students took part in special tours of the exhibition, ranging from infants to post-graduates. The Education Department organised 164 sessions and tours.
One of the pieces: ‘Meniscus’ will remain at the Cathedral until the end of April, by agreement with the artist William Pye. It will remain in the North Transept until after Christmas and will then move to the West End of the Cathedral at the back of the Nave.
There are plans for ‘Calvary’ by David Mach to reappear in the Cathedral during Lent and Easter before it is exhibited at Edinburgh's City Art Centre in the summer.
“We have been highly delighted by the exhibition”, said the Cathedral’s Acting Dean, Canon Neil Heavisides. “It has made a tremendous impact on everyone who has seen it, especially on people who would never otherwise have seen such outstanding work.”