New art exhibition brings Italian flair to Bolton Abbey

A little of Italy is coming to one of our churches in the Ripon area, as they host a new art exhibition.

The Priory Church of St Mary and St Cuthbert at Bolton Abbey is hosting an exhibition of new work inspired by the mosaics in the Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna.

The exhibition is a series of twenty limited edition prints by Peter Swidrak, with the new works attempting to capture the gem- like quality of the mosaics.

Peter hopes they can be a celebration of the amazing skill and imagination of the mosaic artists of almost fifteen centuries ago. 

The exhibition, entitled “In A Ravenna Courtyard”, runs from Sunday May 23 to Sunday May 30.

Also on show will be two pieces by Peter inspired by the encaustic tiles in the Priory Church.

The Revd Nicholas Mercer, Rector at Bolton Priory, said: “We wanted to host this exhibition as it is based on a basilica, and the interior of the Priory actually is too: the Basilica of San Clemente in Rome.

“The church interior was designed by George Street as part of the Anglo-Catholic revival of the 19th century.

“The exhibition will feature some photos from inside our church as well as Peter’s art, showing off our links to Italy.

“It’s great to be able to use our church to show some colour as we hopefully move to the end of lockdown!”

Peter runs Art Masterclasses for primary school teachers and Creative Mindfulness days for everyone who wants to explore their own creativity. 

He has worked, and shared his love of art, with more than 80,000 children and teachers in schools throughout the UK and in Europe.

He has been recognised by the Lord Mayor of Bradford, who gave an afternoon reception at City Hall for Peter’s achievement of 40 years of making pictures in his hometown.

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