Saturday 1 June – Friday 12 July

Hereford Cathedral will host The Adam & Eve Paintings by celebrated artist Edward Kelly this summer.

The striking artwork will be displayed as sixteen large panels in the Cathedral Nave from Saturday 1 June until Friday 12 July. Telling the story of one of the most colourful narratives of all time, the paintings are a celebration of colour and shape which depict Adam and Eve within four sections entitled; Awakening, Garden of Creation, Utopia and Expulsion.

The panels highlight Kelly’s distinctive painting style in which he builds up and layers paint to create bold, vivid imagery with dynamic composition. Colourful symbols including apples, creatures, flowers and snakes sit alongside interpretations of Adam and Eve in an exploration of good and evil.

Kelly, who lives and works in the Wye Valley, was born in Liverpool and studied at Liverpool College of Art between 1963–67. He lectured in painting for twenty-five years at Chelsea College of Art, London and has exhibited in galleries both nationally and internationally.

Edward Kelly, artist, said: “I have with great gratitude embraced the invitation extended to me by Hereford Cathedral to display my most recent work. All my life I have looked at paintings in churches, principally frescoes, which are locked into the fabric of buildings. My own first venture was the St Dubricius Polyptych. The Bishop of Hereford, Antony Priddis, made a dedication to the work on 20th May 2012 and it now lives permanently in Madley Parish Church. Later on the Lilies of the Field Triptych was permanently installed in the beautiful chapel below.” 

The Very Revd Michael Tavinor, Dean of Hereford, said: 'Art plays a vital part in our life and ministry at Hereford Cathedral – it always has done. In medieval times, the cathedral was filled with colour, bright and vibrant, every single surface of the interior. In recent years, we have begun to re-introduce this colour in our restoration of the shrines of St Thomas Cantilupe and St Ethelbert. So, colour is important and this exhibition by Ed Kelly will thrill you by its bold use of colour.'

'But art in church also teaches and challenges as it did in medieval times, as stained glass and paintings taught the faith and challenged and sustained belief. So it is with these canvases by Ed Kelly that we will find them challenging but we will also find them opening discussion and theological debate – exactly the things cathedrals should represent! I do commend the exhibition to all – regulars and visitors alike.'

The Adam & Eve Paintings are located in the North Aisle of Hereford Cathedral.