Cathedral inspires artist

Artist Judy Hurst with one of the pieces from her exhibition in the Galilee Chapel at Durham cathedral.
Artist Judy Hurst with one of the pieces from her exhibition in the Galilee Chapel at Durham cathedral.
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AN artist has launched a new exhibition of her work inspired by the cathedral which stands above her home city.

Judy Hurst shows her work as far afield as New Zealand, the U.S. and France, but has overseen the launch of her latest display closer to home at Durham Cathedral.

The majority of pieces have been created for the exhibition, with some incorporating discarded cut-offs and fragments of medieval oak from the church’s belfry removed during renovations, along with County Durham marble, gold, silver and wood.

A number of two-dimensional illuminated works have also been formed using vellum, which is the same material favoured by the creators of Saxon and medieval manuscripts held in the Cathedral’s library.

The display, entitled Illumination – A Canticle of Creatures, will be in the Galilee Chapel until Sunday, June 19.

Judy, who taught at nine County Durham schools, including Park View in Chester-le-Street, said: “There are many items which have been made specially for this and I started work on the exhibition’s material a year and a half ago.

“The cathedral has always been quite a major part of my life from being small and I was confirmed there. It was the inspiration behind this work.

“It’s absolutely magical to now see it there because it feels as if it’s coming home and the Galilee Chapel is such a beautiful place.”

Other pieces of work by Judy, who lives on the outskirts of Durham, can be found at the Bowes Museum and Durham University’s Trevelyan College and the St Cuthbert’s Society.

Her creations are often influenced by the Celtic traditions of Saxon Northumbria, Christian symbolism and the world of St Cuthbert, with pattern and symbolic use of colour in addition to the Norman history of the region and the cathedral.

Judy trained at St Martin’s School of Art in London, then did a teacher training degree at Manchester University.

She has been exhibiting work since the 1960s in addition to her teaching career, which she brought to an end in 2002 to concentrate on her art.

In her spare time she is a long distance runner and takes inspiration from the wildlife and environment she experiences when running.

@EchoEastDurham