Hundreds of years ago, the walls of Ripon Cathedral would have been adorned with religious art and depictions from the Bible. This was all swept away after the Reformation but now Ripon Cathedral is set to be awash with art once again.

Local artist Stephen Guyon Bird, who is also Head of Art and Art History at Ampleforth College, is exhibiting his work, “Genesis: a visual exploration” alongside work by the Northern Committee of the Embroiderer’s Guild. The paintings are an exploration of the nature of drawing and of the richness of the Genesis narratives and their evocative power.

The Genesis project has been funded by the Farmington Institute, Oxford and is touring some of England’s great cathedrals to encourage people to return again to these stories, or turn to them for the first time and wonder about their meaning and significance. Drawing is at the very heart of SG Bird’s work.   He creates imaginative worlds with mermaids, archangels in trilbies; street performers;  Jonah;  Leviathan; the fool – variously set in North Yorkshire’s abbeys , a Deptford pub, a Lambeth street, or by the coast. There are references to the early saints and parables and themes from the Old and New Testaments.

Alongside SG Bird’s work, the Embroiderers’ Guild are exhibiting their work, ‘Perspectives’, which examines architecture and contrasts, as well as the touring exhibition ‘Needle Points North’. The exhibition will be in situ in the nave until the 29th June, whilst ‘Genesis’ is with us until the 13th of June.