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The Shadow of Angels

St. Stephen Walbrook, London

Continuing the trend of works of art in churches set by Bill Viola’s Mary in St. Paul’s and Ana Maria Pacheco’s installation at Chichester Cathedral, Brazilian artist Kim Poor’s exhibition The Shadow Of Angels opened at Wren’s masterpiece St. Stephen Walbrook with a fanfare of Art, Music and Ballet. The Royal Ballet’s rising star Fernando Montaño performed The Swan from Saint-Saens’ Carnival des Animaux to and around Henry Moore’s controversial altar, followed by a troupe led by Ballet Rambert’s Kirill Burlov.

The Finissage was celebrated with a very special evening - ANGELS FOR PEACE - featuring perfomances by the celebrated Aleppo-born concert pianist Riyad Nicolas and up and coming singer/songwriter Katya D'Janoeff.

The Shadow Of Angels was exhibited at one of Sir Christopher Wren’s most famous churches, St. Stephen Walbrook. Curated by art historian and critic Edward Lucie-Smith, it explores the mythology of angels, their universal appeal, their spirituality and presence in our lives. Their iconography is a unifying force throughout time and a connection in all religions and cultures. In these troubled times, angels represent our need for reassurance, an illusion or reality in a very unstable world. They can be our protectors, guides, messengers or the dark mirrored side of demons; a manifestation of life and death or the true bridge to the Divine.

“The dreamlike quality of Kim Poor’s work aligns it with the Magic Realism which can be found in the work of great contemporary Latin American writers such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Mario Vargas Llose and Isabel Allende.“ Edward Lucie-Smith

Photos: Paul Clark and Massimo Battista

Curator, Edward Lucie-Smith
Edward Lucie-Smith is an internationally known art critic and historian, who is also a published poet  (winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize), an anthologist and a practicing photographer. He has published more than a hundred books on art, chiefly but not exclusively about contemporary work and is generally regarded as the most prolific and the most widely published writer on art. A number of his art books, among them Movements in Art since 1945, Visual Arts of the 20th Century, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Art Today are used as standard texts throughout the world.

He has curated exhibitions of contemporary art for the Peter Moores Foundation at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, and more recently (2011), he was co-curator of the annual Bow Arts Trust exhibition at two locations in London, co-curator of the ‘Polemically Small’ exhibition featuring 88 new British artists at the Torrance Art Museum in Los Angeles, and curator of a mixed British/Iranian show at the large KCCC space in Klaipeda, Lithuania.

St. Stephen Walbrook

Re-built in 1680 after the great fire of London, this is one of Sir Christopher Wren’s most famous churches, a timeless work of art and, according to Pevsner, one of the 10 most important buildings in England. It was widely admired throughout 18th century Europe and the Italian sculptor-architect, Canova, considered Wren’s church as a masterpiece and compared it to the best architecture in Rome.

The Samaritans were founded at St. Stephen Walbrook in 1953 by Dr. Chad Varah, the rector for over 50 years.

Classical, modern and contemporary art and architecture beautifully combine in exhibitions here. The reordering of the church undertaken in the 1980s sensitively introduced significant examples of modern art (a travertine marble altar by Henry Moore and dazzling kneelers by Patrick Heron) within Wren’s masterpiece, which also contains significant woodwork and carving by William Newman. His dark wood panelling provides a dramatic backdrop to the regular programme of contemporary art exhibitions that the church hosts. This marvellous blend of old and new provides a richly contemplative space in which to display and view art.

Copyright © 2017 Kim Poor, All rights reserved.

All images Copyright © 2017 Kim Poor, All rights reserved.