Art for Evensong and Celebrating Evensong

A series of prints taking the reader on a visual journey through Choral Evensong, created when my son was a chorister at Rochester Cathedral.

Ruth Dent Celebrating Evensong- Mesostic copy

Celebrating Evensong

Choral Evensong was created in 1549 by Thomas Cranmer, when he combined Vespers and Compline.

I considered the purpose and meaning of Evensong: the words and music, history, location and architecture.  There is symbolism within the images, plus motifs found in the cathedral.

It was always my intention to combine modernity with timelessness and to convey the sense of moving through the service.

Ruth Dent Celebrating Evensong- Afternoon Star copy
A scattering of petals
As the bell rings in anticipation
Ruth Dent Celebrating Evensong- Entrance copy
Treading the mellow stones
Choir and Clergy process into the Quire
Ruth Dent Celebrating Evensong- Opening Responses copy
A voice calls
A Choir replies
Ruth Dent Celebrating Evensong- Hymn copy
All join in and sing
Ruth Dent Celebrating Evensong- Psalm copy
Cantoris and Decani pass the verses
As the organ holds the chords
Ruth Dent Celebrating Evensong- Magnificat copy
Listen to an ancient story
Ponder it’s meaning
Ruth Dent Celebrating Evensong- Magnificat copy
Rejoice
All generations
Rejoice
Ruth Dent Celebrating Evensong- First Reading (1) copy
Raised from the page
The words flow into the present
Ruth Dent Celebrating Evensong- Nunc Dimittis copy
A pale light shines
Bringing recognition and exultation
Ruth Dent Celebrating Evensong- Creed copy
I believe …
And I believe …
Amen
Ruth Dent Celebrating Evensong- Lesser Litany copy
Pushing out our hopes ...
Of today, of peace, of protection
Ruth Dent Celebrating Evensong- Anthem copy
Time to float away ...
Wrapped in a favourite blanket
Ruth Dent Celebrating Evensong- Prayers copy
Thoughts and wishes swirl around ...
As we make our shared appeal
Ruth Dent Celebrating Evensong- Exit copy
Replenished
We disperse into the night
Ruth Dent Celebrating Evensong- Organ copy

The organist’s moment to thrill

Ruth Dent Celebrating Evensong- Evening Star copy
At the close ...
The scattered petals embrace

Art For Evensong

The challenge: take the Celebrating Evensong prints and create large canvasses to hang in Rochester Cathedral.

These contemporary images of a sixteenth century service invite people to see the familiar with a new light, hung in sacred spaces where generations have trod the same stones.  They pay tribute to the choir and choristers who bring this service and its music to life.

Peel Cathedral
Rochester Altar
Rochester Hymn and ORs
Worcester Psalm and R1

Painted for and displayed at Rochester Cathedral in 2012/13, each banner is 1.35m x 2.5m, acrylic on canvas.

‘Art for Evensong’ then went ‘on tour’ and visited Peel Cathedral on the Isle of Man in 2013, then Worcester and Bradford Cathedrals in 2014.