Skip to main content
Read page text


in f o r m


Jerry Hardman

Breathing Space

York St Mary’s, a former medieval church in the centre of York, opened last year as the city’s newest contemporary art space with the exhibition featuring a selection of works linked by the theme of light. This year the focus is on textiles and Caroline Broadhead has provided a new site specific work. Breathing Space was made in response to York St Mary’s; in particular, to its quiet, imposing atmosphere and history. Caroline explained: “the architecture of churches has areas that are accessible and those that are restricted, and a contrast between light and dark. There is an awareness of layers, from the headstones set in the floor to the space above your head, a sense of one’s own transience.”

“The aim was to make a contemporary work that would both contrast the old and the new, but also integrate with the building, a combination of ecclesiastical and secular. The lofty space above your head is defined by a translucent screen. This ‘ceiling’ separates upper and lower levels of the building, defining these different spaces. Viewed from the ground floor, it gives a new stratum, close to the head, reducing the space that one is accustomed to.

“The materials I have chosen are a combination of airiness and heaviness: the wadding is associated with warmth and the lead with weight. The ceiling forms a screen on which to catch the light from above, artificial light in the nave and natural light through the windows.”

Breathing Space, York St Mary’s 21 May – 9 October 2005. T: 01904 687687 s e l v e d g e . o r g

My Bookmarks

Skip to main content