This painting is one of only 5 studies, (two on paper, three on canvas), for a major public acquisition. As the national touring exhibition to English cathedrals, 'Incarnation, Mary & Women from the Bible, paintings by Chris Gollon', also travelled to the Grade I listed Romsey Abbey in autumn 2016, Gollon was very taken with both the beautiful Abbey and the history of its famously stoic abbess, St Ethelflaeda. He decided to paint – as a site-specific work for two stone recesses – a dramatic diptych of St Ethelflaeda, Abbess of Romsey at the time of the first millennium. Gollon’s diptych looks at the legend recounted of St Ethelflaeda, the moment her candle blows out and she is able to continue reading the Bible only by the Divine light emanating from her hand. The diptych subtly gives the impression of St Ethelflaeda re-entering the Abbey, imbued with light. In 2018, it was purchased by Romsey Abbey, where it hangs permanently as an aid to worship and for the visiting public to enjoy. A full-colour ISBN-numbered fine art catalogue featuring the diptych and all five studies for the final work, along with texts by leading writers including Sara Maitland, is available from the Abbey shop, or it may be purchased from our bookshop.
“I’ve really come to love Chris Gollon’s work and the expressive ways that he represents the human form with exaggeration creating a greater realism”, The Very Revd Catherine Ogle, Dean of Winchester, 2018.
IAP Fine Art and Romsey Abbey
This painting was shown in Romsey Abbey in October 2016, for the festival of St Ethelflaeda, and as part of the exhibition 'Incarnation, Mary & Women from the Bible - paintings by Chris Gollon'. In October 2018, it was also displayed in Romsey Abbey, to coincide with the permanent installation, special mass and the blessing of the St Ethelflaeda Diptych, for which it is a study.
'St Ethelflaeda: Diptych by Chris Gollon'. Fine art catalogue published on the occasion of the permanent installation of Chris Gollon’s ‘St Ethelflaeda’ diptych in Romsey Abbey, Hampshire. It includes the studies for the final work and texts by leading writers including Sara Maitland, art historian Tamsin Pickeral, author Mark Byford, Jonathan Koestlé-Cate, Canon Dr Julie Gittoes and The Very Revd Catherine Ogle, Dean of Winchester. It also includes images from Chris Gollon’s national touring exhibition to English cathedrals (2014 -2016), specifically those works such as ‘Judas’ Wife’ and others that were not included in the touring exhibition catalogue ‘Incarnation, Mary & Women from the Bible’. Published by IAP Fine Art in association with Romsey Abbey (2018). ISBN 978-0-9530584-7-1, 24 pages and 18 colour reproductions.