The Cloud of Unknowing

Until 12 December 2020
Hostry
The Cloud of Unknowing (c) Ray Ward

Stained glass and black and white art are set to take centre stage in a new exhibition by artists Ray and Sasha Ward at Norwich Cathedral’s Hostry.

Called The Cloud of Unknowing, the two-month exhibition runs until Saturday December 12.

The Cloud of Unknowing (c) Sasha Ward  (6)
The exhibition centres around a series of collaborative panels made during lockdown when Sasha turned some of Ray’s drawings into stained glass. It also features a guide to making stained glass and draws a link between the couple’s contemporary art and the wonderful stained glass windows in the Cathedral and churches around the county.

Although the duo have worked alongside each other since meeting at art school more than 30 years ago, this exhibition is the first time they have collaborated on a project together.

The Cloud of Unknowing (c) Ray Ward
Ray’s art is full of droll, everyday imagery describing passing thoughts or small incidents. He finds his subject matter not only from observing real life going on around him, but also from newspapers, leaflets, billboards, television, radio and his imagination.

Ray said: “The pictures are written from scratch, I have no idea what they are going to be when I start. I have displayed them in groups on the wall forming clouds which you can see as a whole. But if you look harder you can always see something else in the cloud whether it is a camel, a weasel or a whale.”

The Cloud of Unknowing (c) Sasha Ward
Sasha is an architectural glass artist who works to commission making windows and other features for mostly modern public buildings. Her distinctive glass panels are highly decorative, with pattern and strong colour applied to the glass using her own enamelling and sandblasting techniques.

At the start of lockdown, Sasha took a step away from commissioned work and returned to traditional stained glass techniques and figurative imagery with a series of glass portraits and interpretations of Ray’s drawings.

Sasha said: “The people in Ray’s pictures have always intrigued me in the same way that the figures in church windows do. For me, the new collaborative panels make a link between my own practice and the work of the favourite stained glass artists that have inspired my career.”

The Hostry, where visitors are greeted before entering the Cathedral, has put aside its usual layout of screens and cabinets to allow more space for social distancing. The stripped-back space, with an ancient flint wall meeting a modern glass partition, provides a perfect backdrop for the work of these two artists – the exhibition consists of a wall of black and white pictures and a glass wall lined with stained glass panels.

The Cloud of Unknowing is open Monday to Friday 10am-4pm, Saturday 10am–3pm and Sunday 1pm-2.30pm.

Admission is free.

For more information about the artists’ work visit www.sashaward.co.uk and www.artward.co.uk

The Cloud of Unknowing (c) Ray Ward

The Cloud of Unknowing (c) Sasha Ward