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Crisisum humanitarus
Crisisum humanitarus

Wed, 28 Aug


High Altar, St Mary's Cathedral

Crisisum humanitarus

An installation inspired by the ecological crisis, dress-making, and the Cathedral's own Frosterley marble. By Jenny Pope.

Time & Location

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28 Aug 2024, 09:00 – 18:00

High Altar, St Mary's Cathedral, Palmerston Pl, Edinburgh EH12 5AW, UK


Jenny Pope has been inspired by the marine fossils in the Cathedral’s Frosterley Marble altar, containing now extinct animal shells and corals which grew one surface line daily; a clock preserved in deep time.

In response, Jenny has installed contemporary ‘fossils’ made of waste plastic sheets, sewn together using dressmaking shapes, referencing our clothes as outer layers, forming human scale cocoons, shelters and/or containers. For Jenny the making process is important. She has used sewing, which she finds meditative and therapeutic, to create a sense of protection against the uncertainties ahead.

By siting this work at the Cathedral’s high altar, Jenny asks us to examine the wounds of environmental exploitation and extraction and to consider the part we play in this. By contrasting deep time with the immeasurably short time we now have ahead to act responsibly, Jenny is posing questions about our resilience to act and our communal moral distress as we witness changes unfolding.

Jenny Pope: "I am an Edinburgh based artist, with a BA in Ceramics and an MA in Sculpture from Edinburgh College of Art. I make thoughtful, playful responses to contemporary issues enabling audiences to engage constructively with their emotions, creating space for reflection and positive changes. I use the materiality of sculptures and found, recycled objects to focus my practice in the direction of making a difference to the climate crisis. I am intrigued by the physicality of materials, making processes and the meaning of objects, experimenting with their limits and using the analogy of weathering of objects to suggest the uncertainty and changes we all face as human beings."

This exhibition is free.  Opening times are 9am-5pm Mon-Sat, and 12-5pm Sunday.  Exhibitions will temporarily close during services.

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