Art in the cathedral

Art in the Cathedral installation. Pictures courtesy of Wechselbraun, Kleine Zeitung
Art in the Cathedral installation. Pictures courtesy of Wechselbraun, Kleine Zeitung
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A SUNDERLAND-BASED artist has unveiled works of biblical proportions in her native Austria.

Helma Rud, a glass and ceramics graduate of the University of Sunderland, was the youngest artist to be invited to produce an inspiring creation for the annual Art in the Cathedral (Kunst im Dom) event.

Helma Rud with the installation.

Helma Rud with the installation.

This important annual modern art installation in the Austrian state of Carinthia, is displayed all through Lent, from Ash Wednesday until Easter, in the historic Cathedral of Klagenfurt.

Helma, 33, created an interactive mixed media installation which sees transparent sheets of fabric tethered with fishing wire to the 17-metre high ceiling, gallery, chapels, columns and stone benches.

Computer-generated messages from comment cards left by visitors to the cathedral are then projected on to the fabric arch as someone walks towards it.

Helma, who is studying for an MA in glass at Sunderland, said: “I am delighted the project has been a huge success and generated the biggest splash in the media for the Kunst im Dom so far. I worked with two project partners Joe Lyske and Louis McCallum.

(L to R) Louis McCallum, Helma Rud and Joe Lyske.

(L to R) Louis McCallum, Helma Rud and Joe Lyske.

“The idea for the installation is to pass on thoughts and remove the social filter. While social networking services, such as Twitter, are often considered as a mirror of thought, they effectively exclude whole sections of our community, especially the elderly.

“Filling out of comment cards, however, doesn’t require specialist knowledge on a theological, artistic or technological level. The exhibit removes this social filter, because the person receiving the message doesn’t know whether they come from a professor, a child, an elderly person or someone unemployed. The messages are read for their inherent value.”

After her degree, Helma, who grew up in Muehldorf, Carinthia, was accepted to the Sunniside Graduate Scheme and was provided with a free studio space at Creative Cohesion in Sunniside, where she also received business support and a mentor to launch her business, Helma Rud Art.

Sunderland-based glass artist Roger Tye gave her practical help with the Art in the Cathedral project, Fitz Fabrications in Sunderland provided metal parts for her models and Wearside-based artist, Criss Chaney, helped her assemble the model.

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