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The Methodist Modern Art Collection comes to the Beaney House of Art and Knowledge in Canterbury

By Angela Cole

One of the UK’s most significant collections of modern Christian art is to go on display in its entirety in the county this weekend.

The Methodist Modern Art Collection will go on show at the Beaney House of Art and Knowledge in Canterbury from Saturday, January 14.

Picturing Faith is a unique gathering of work which has toured the world since it was created more than 40 years ago, and has more than 40 works by the likes of acclaimed artists Graham Sutherland, Elisabeth Frink, Edward Burra and Patrick Heron.

Walking on the Water by Maggi Hambling from the Methodist Modern Art Collection

They depict biblical stories and images and use a range of painting techniques.

It offers a rare chance to see one of the most significant collections of contemporary religious art as a whole.

Simon Sorokos, lead exhibition organiser at Kent College, said: “It is unusual for all of the works to be exhibited at once, and some pieces will be on show for the first time. We hope that the work will appeal to people of all ages, and all faiths. We aim to engage the whole community.”

Christ's Entry into Jerusalem by Norman Adams, from the Methodist Modern Art Collection

Joanna Jones, director of Canterbury Museums and Galleries added: “Canterbury City Council is delighted to be displaying this wonderful collection.”

The collection is looked after by trustees with the aim of enabling exploration of Christian faith.


Picturing Faith will be at The Beaney, with Kent College, in the special exhibitions room from Saturday, January 14, to Sunday, April 23.

For details go to thebeaney.co.uk Admission is free although there is a suggested donation of £5 which goes towards staging future exhibitions.

For details on the collection visit methodist.org.uk

Elements of the Holy Communion by Jacque Iselin


A range of related events for all ages and faiths will coincide with Picturing Faith.

All Faiths or None? From Saturday, February 4, to Sunday, March 5, in The Front Room, The Beaney. Free.

Pupils from Canterbury Academy and Kent College will exhibit work responding to the Beaney’s displays of objects and images around the themes of world faiths, superstitions and totems.

Richard Cork: An Act of Faith: Outstanding Art in the Methodist Collection
A lecture at Kent College on Friday, January 20, at 6pm.

Dr Peter Forsaith: Cultural Contradictions? John Wesley, Methodism and Art
A lecture at St Peter’s Methodist Church on Friday, February 3, at 7pm.

Canon Christoper Irvine: Shaping colour, and knowing through the body: Ceri Richards in the Methodist Collection. A lecture at Clagett Auditorium, Canterbury Cathedral Lodge, on Friday, March 3, at 7pm.

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