Sean Henry: Conflux
At Salisbury Cathedral
Richard Cork and Tom Flynn
- Published on the occasion of sculptor Sean Henry’s ‘Conflux: A Union of the Sacred and the Anonymous’ – a solo exhibition that brings to Salisbury Cathedral the biggest single group of polychrome sculpture since the Reformation
- Invites a contemplation of the role of the Cathedral today and the evolving nature of art in religious movements
This book is published to mark the largest exhibition to date of sculptor Sean Henry’s work, set in the spectacular surroundings of Salisbury Cathedral. ‘Conflux’ brings together over 20 sculptures and installations of dramatically different scales by this innovative artist, occupying vacant plinths and open spaces on both the inside and exterior of this iconic 13th-century building, creating a confluence of sculpture – Henry’s modern anonymous figures alongside the Cathedral’s medieval and classical collection. Sean Henry’s artwork celebrates the fragile individuality of anonymous men and women, challenging the viewer to contrast them with the timelessness and indestructibility of the building, with its memorials to important historical figures. For the Cathedral community it offers an opportunity to remind visitors that the wide-ranging emotions and frailties displayed in the work are as relevant inside this living church as the refined memorials and celebrations of faith that have adorned the walls for generations. It is a union that invites us to contemplate the role of the Cathedral today and the evolving nature of art in religious environments.
Richard Cork is an award-winning art critic, historian, broadcaster and curator. Formerly Art Critic of The Evening Standard and Chief Art Critic of The Times, he broadcasts regularly on BBC radio and TV. He was Slade Professor of Fine Art at Cambridge University in 1989–90, and Henry Moore Senior Fellow at the Courtauld Institute, 1992–5. Tom Flynn is a London-based art historian and critic. He is the author of a number of books on the fine and decorative arts, including a monograph on the work of Sean Henry, published by Scala in 2009. He lectures on the art market at Kingston University, at the Wallace Collection’s Masters course in Art and Business, and elsewhere. In 2007, he founded The Sculpture Agency to promote contemporary sculpture.