Historically, churches were places where people went to see art. Cathedrals across Europe are decorated with frescoes, carvings and painted altarpieces. Conversely, people visit an art gallery today for the same reason they used to visit a cathedral – to replenish their spirits. The modernist conception of the art gallery – the white cube – was developed to provide a neutral context for viewing art. The Swiss Church is almost gallery-like. Yet it is a functioning church, and art is not the primary consideration. To see art in a church today is a nod to a former age and sees the return of the church to artistic patronage.
— Kirsty White, Curator
Church and art have a common ground and history. The Swiss Church and its Art Committee seek to emphasis the meeting between those attending the Swiss Church for worship and those stepping through its doors to admire its architecture and cultural significance. Each year we host an exhibition from our Goldsmiths Partnership. On occasion the staff team and the Art Committee commission exhibitions that are inspired by the church or the community.
Cardboard and Caviar by Andy Palfreyman, December 2015
Andy has been living in the streets for 30 years. We met him through our outreach work, and he soon after started to photograph the places where he was sleeping rough. The exhibition is the result of his street photography and he wants to raise awareness for street homelessness with his work
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Endell Street by Andrea Gohl, November 2015
For over a year Swiss artist Andrea Gohl has explored Endell Street and its people. The art installation brought together fragments of this research in photography, video and text.