Heaven and Earth
The Methodist Modern Art Collection
19 January – 26 March 2015
This exhibition and the accompanying programme is the fruit of a partnership of two years between the University and the Methodist Circuit, showcasing works from the Methodist Modern Art Collection.
The Methodist Art Collection has been described as ‘the best denominational collectionof modern art outside the Vatican’. For ten weeks forty works from the collection will be on display across two venues; Wrexham Methodist Church in Regent Street and Oriel Sycharth at Glyndŵr University.
The collection is one of the best kept secrets of the Methodist Church. It was the initiative, in the early 1960s, of a Methodist layman, Dr John Morel Gibbs of Penarth, just outside Cardiff. He was very conscious that within the Methodist Church and indeed within Non-Conformist Churches in general there was little appreciation of the insights that contemporary artists could bring to the Christian story.
Today the collection comprises 50 works including works by Patrick Heron, Graham Sutherland, Eric Gill and Ceri Richards, and is regularly exhibited across the UK.
Both venues are open 9.30am-4pm Monday to Saturday.
Guided Tours (English or Welsh) are available by arrangement and sessions tailored to both Primary and Secondary Schools are being offered to schools across and beyond the Borough.
An illustrated Guide to the Methodist Art Collection is available to buy at both venues for £5.00.
“We are thrilled to be partnering the Wrexham Methodist Circuit in this project. The collection covers most of the significant movements/artists from the last 50 years.”
Professor Estelle Thompson, Head of Division of Media, Arts & Design at Glyndŵr University.
“I see the arts as a common language shared by people inside and outside the Church. We hope that the exhibition will open up a space for conversation between the artist and the viewer, between the Church and the University, between the sacred and secular, between the believer and the non-believer.”
Reverend Richard Sharples, Wrexham Methodist Church Minister.
A full programme of concerts, seminars, conversations and workshops will accompany the exhibition – please click here for more information, or see the exhibition brochure (pdf format) for details. Entry to the exhibition and to all events in the programme is free.
The exhibition's launch on 19th January was featured on S4C's Welsh Language programme Heno – you can watch the clip here (in Welsh).