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Bill Viola, Mary, 2016, video triptych; Executive Producer, Kira Perov; Photo courtesy Blain|Southern

Bill Viola »


Exhibition: – 12 Mar 2017

Thu 8 Sep

St Paul's Cathedral


+44 (0)20-72531424


Mon-Sat 11.30am & 2.15pm

Mary will be inaugurated in the North Quire Aisle on 8 September 2016 - to coincide with the Feast of Mary

Mary has been conceived as a companion piece to Martyrs (Earth, Air, Fire, Water) which was unveiled in the South Quire Aisle of the cathedral in 2014. These installations are the first moving-image artworks to be installed in a cathedral in Britain on a long-term basis.

Bill Viola said: "The two themes of Mary and Martyrs symbolise some of the profound mysteries of human existence. One is concerned with birth and the other death; one with comfort and creation, the other with suffering and sacrifice. If I am successful, the final pieces will function both as aesthetic objects of contemporary art and as practical objects of traditional contemplation and devotion.”

St Paul’s Chancellor Canon Mark Oakley said: "Bill Viola’s art slows down our perceptions in order to deepen them. He uses the very medium that controls mass culture today, film, and subverts that control to instead open up new possibilities and contours of understanding.

"Through the life of Mary, and her relationship to her son, Viola invites us to dive into the mystery of love’s strength in birth, relationship, loss and fidelity. I have no doubt that this fresh installation will lead our many pilgrims and guests into purposeful reflection and hopeful prayer".

See Mary from 9 September, free of charge, in specially-escorted timed sessions at 11.30 and 2.15 Monday - Saturday.