Skip to content

Glass and light sculpture illuminates Chichester Cathedral

Chichester Cathedral is exhibiting an extraordinary glass and light sculpture, ‘Connection’, by the internationally successful artist Galia Amsel ...

Chichester Cathedral is exhibiting an extraordinary glass and light sculpture, ‘Connection’, by the globally successful artist Galia Amsel. 

This striking modern sculpture is suspended from the upper levels in the Cathedral’s baptistry and hangs gently above the font, an area used for baptisms and christening.
This interesting artwork refers to the traditional use of stained/coloured glass in places of worship, where the light through windows has historically served a dual purpose; firstly to light up the space within, and also to illuminate images and messages from spiritual texts. 

Amsel’s sculpture explores similar themes but through a very contemporary lens and with modern materials - her sculpture uses a large twisting industrial duct to bring down the light from above, which arrives finally, and beautifully, in delicate glasswork emulating fibre optic cables. 

These fibre optic cables gesture towards the title of the piece ‘Connection’, as cables like these bring us myriad connections in our busy and complex modern world. The placement of the piece above the font also brings out the particular ‘connections’ involved in being baptised, where the sprinkling of water symbolises a ‘rebirth’ and the beginning of a connection with God.
This piece is the latest in a series of contemporary art to be temporarily exhibited in Chichester Cathedral, which is already well known for its bold relationship with modern art – the Cathedral displays permanent pieces by artists such as Marc Chagall, Graham Sutherland, John Piper, Philip Jackson and others.
Galia Amsel is an artist admired by glass makers and collectors alike. She trained at the Royal College of Art, London, and has taught in the university glass departments of Sunderland and Edinburgh, and at the Glasgow School of Art.  She moved to New Zealand in 2004 and her work soon started to win her grants and awards.

Her pieces are exhibited in museum collections around the world, including: the V&A here in the UK; the Museum of Arts and Design, New York; the National Museum of Scotland and the Montreal Museum of Decorative Arts.  The artist is represented by five galleries: Adrian Sassoon in Europe and the USA; Sabbia Gallery, Australia; Trish Clark and Milford Galleries in New Zealand; and Koru in Asia and Hong Kong.
Chichester Cathedral is open daily with free entry and all are welcome to come and see ‘Connection’, which will be exhibited until 16 February 2017. 

PHOTOS: Chris Ison

Get more inspiring reading

To find back issues of the INSPIRE mini-mag - seasonal and themed issues - go to