Caught by the Cathedral

Some years ago now I was involved in a small way in a sculpture exhibition at the Cathedral in Gloucester. The print company I worked for were to print the Exhibition Catalogue. I was the interface with the client. It was a tricky job and had to be done at some pace as the sculptures had to be photographed in situ, and it was just a few days after they were in situ that the whole event opened. They needed the catalogue on the opening day. Squeaky tight brief! Uncomfortable.

Happily it happened. The photographer did his bit magnificently producing some stunning images and we did our bit getting them in the design and printed in double quick time. The binders who normally take some time to finish the job did their bit and the ink was barely dry when we delivered the job. It was great to be involved but a relief to get it all done. All the right pictures printed in the right order to a very high standard. By the end of the exhibition they had sold out.

We also printed an A3 map of the site so that visitors could find all the sculptures both within the Cathedral and in the grounds. They sold those for a £1.00 each and the catalogue at £10.00. We were being asked if we had any spare catalogues at the printers for quite some time after the event, but the item that made the money ( all to go to help on the upkeep of the Cathedral ) was the map. Thousands of visitors bought them and the whole event pulled in thousands of people into the Gloucester City Centre.

The image here is one I took at the time of the unloading of one of the main sculptures that stood outside the Cathedral at the second sculpture exhibition they did, the first one being so successful they did it twice! It’s two figures in bronze by Lynn Chadwick, with the guide straps holding it in place as they were manoeuvring it off the huge truck that brought it from the foundry in Stroud. Pangolin Editions were the foundry company and are still there in Stroud, casting many of the works of famous and not so famous artists, many of the artists living in the lovely valleys nearby. I was once told that there were more artists than postmen in the area, probably true.

The sculpted figures lived outside the Cathedral’s main entrance for about a month, again welcoming thousands of visitors to the venue. It was a great way to highlight the place and get people into the City, all these years later it would be good if they could do it again sometime.

At least next time I shall avoid the squeaky brief, I’ll just watch from a distance.

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