Recent Exhibit

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A PARAGON OF CHIVALRY Collection

Recent works by RICHARD LYNN STUDHAM

AT DURHAM CATHEDRAL’S GALILEE CHAPEL GALLERY

Part of the Centennial Celebrations of the Magna Carta
AUGUST 24 to SEPTEMBER 20, 2015, DURHAM, ENGLAND
Private View, August 24, 6.30 to 8:30 pm

 

ARTIST’S STATEMENT:

“Medieval chivalry prior to and following the Magna Carta was an integral part of aristocratic society. Knights of this time were expected to gain acknowledgement and reputation for their chivalric contributions by participating in societal activities. Prowess in tournament and combat, tactical and strategic acumen was all important to the knight’s stature. Courtesy and discretion to navigate shoals of the Royal Court and above all the reputation of unwavering loyalty to those whom he served.

At the time of the Magna Carta, Sir William Marshall, 1st Earl of Pembroke (1147 – 1219) was eulogized by Archbishop Stephen Langdon as the “The best knight in the world”. His rise was largely a consequence of the qualities that made him an exemplar of late 12th century chivalry. William Marshall remained loyal to King John throughout the crisis of the baronial rebellion that culminated in the Magna Carta. He witnessed the signing as John’s representative and swore to uphold the Magna Carta’s provisions. Many studies of this period conclude that prowess in the service of loyalty seem to be the essence of chivalry.

In this body of work I have attempted to explore an individual component of medieval confrontation including vassalage, early forms of feudalism, romance and other varied intricacies of chivalry. The protection and supportive nature in the timeline of Medieval chivalric society is well documented in religious chronicles.

In “A Paragon of Chivalry” I have established a point of departure by utilizing imagery depicting a pertinent aspect or occurrence in this period of time. This information is applied in a contemporary visual format challenging an element of creativity without losing the intent of the immediate depicted chivalric theme.”

About the Artist:

Born in Stanley, raised in Chester-le-Street in Co. Durham, England, Richard Lynn Studham attended Sunderland College of Art and Design 1952 – 56.  Upon completion of his undergraduate studies, his military service was with the 1st Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry 1956 – 58.  In 1958 he received a two year scholarship to commence his graduate studies at the Royal Academy of Fine Art, Copenhagen, Denmark.

In 1960, Mr. Studham returned to England and decided to immigrate to a teaching position in Montreal, Canada. He completed a second graduate degree in Fine Art at East Carolina University, U.S.A.  In 1970 he was elected to the Society of Canadian Artists based on his work as a professional artist in Canada. In 1969, he was appointed Assistant Professor with the Department of Art Education at McGill University, Montreal, then Associate Professor in 1975. He Chaired the Department of Education in the Arts from 1983 to 1990.  Administrative responsibilities included Undergraduate and Graduate Program Director along with numerous academic committees within the university community and governmental. In 1987, he was appointed Full Professor with the Department of Education in the Arts.  Following retirement in 2005, Professor Studham received the honorific award of Emeritus Professor in 2009 in recognition of devoted and meritorious service.

As a professional artist, Richard Lynn Studham contributed to the local, national and international art scene since 1962 encompassing Painting, Printmaking and Ceramics. He has exhibited world wide with many works in public and private collections in Asia, Australia, Europe, Scandinavia, North, Central and South America.  He has received numerous national and international awards for his work.  He continues to maintain his high profile by constantly accepting the challenge of re-inventing his work and submitting it to the appropriate exposure.

About the Galilee Chapel Gallery

The Galilee Chapel is attached to Durham Cathedral.  Access and volume of visitors is enhanced because of the near proximity at the entrance of the Cathedral.  The exhibit will be constructed around several of the columns permitting the art to hang with ample space for viewing and traffic  of visitors.

As described on the Durham Cathedral website … “The Galilee Chapel, at the Cathedral’s western end, has an unusual history. Built in the 1170s, it was originally planned as an extension to the eastern end of the Cathedral, which was always full of pilgrims and therefore cramped. However, due to a change in the level of the bedrock from the rest of the Cathedral, the walls kept on cracking during the construction and all attempts to build it at the eastern end of the Church seemed to fail. This was taken as a sign of divine intervention, and it was built in its current location at the western end of the Cathedral instead.

The name Galilee was often used to designate the space at the western end of a church, from which processions start their entry into the building, recalling Christ’s entry into Jerusalem from Galilee.

While the main body of the Cathedral is solid and massive, the Galilee Chapel is much ‘lighter’. This isn’t only because it is a much smaller, lower building, and so it could afford to be light, but also because it was forty years along in the transition to the Gothic style that was about to flourish. The use of slender and graceful structural elements, such as the columns in the Galilee Chapel, hints at the direction that later European buildings would take.

The slenderness of the columns of the Galilee Chapel, and the rows of arches with a zig-zag profile create the sense of airiness.   In its spirit, the chapel conveys the same impression as some of the Islamic buildings being constructed in Andalusia. Were there cross-cultural influences? Very possibly.

The Galilee Chapel is one of the only places in the Durham Cathedral Complex where murals with figural representation still remain. Much of the Cathedral would have been painted in this way – but the building was white-washed during the Reformation, and when the whitewash was removed during the Victorian era, most of the murals were inadvertently scraped away as well”.