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If Not Now When

Jenna Fox

“If not now, when?”

23rd May – 30th June 2023

About the exhibition

The exhibition is a celebration of Guildford flowers and Guildford Cathedral in three parts. Outside, in front of the main steps will be an installation of huge flowers, once inside there are two huge site-specific paintings that flank the doors into the cathedral and once inside flower paintings are on the outer walls.

The outside installation consists of oversized, painted, sculptural English flowers and herbs from the local area such as roses (also featured in the stained-glass windows at the cathedral), daisies, nettle, lavender, and balm.  The installation encourages consideration for their importance, not just ecologically but for the soul. The title of the installation suggest we stop and reflect and poses the questions of global warming and the need to care for our planet. Flowers and especially roses are an important symbol for the church. The rose is the symbol for Jesus’ mother Mary' and the reason the rosary is so named. The Cathedral is such an incredible place, and I wanted the flowers to inspire the viewer to soak up their beauty and that of the architecture and encourage debate around care for the planet and for reflection and contemplation and "take time to smell the roses".

The huge paintings that flank the doors are “Celestial Metalepsis I and II”.  They have been inspired by the cathedral’s architecture, stained glass windows, kneelers, and iconography. Every element is specific to Guildford Cathedral. The twelve gold and turquoise segments are the twelve disciples, the roses from the windows, the lavender from the gardens, the blue silk ribbons that hold the cross and the angel wings of the doors.

About the artist

Jenna Fox is a UK artist with an MA in sculpture from the Royal College of Art, who has exhibited extensively across the UK. Her work is site specific, bursting with positivity. Common themes underpinning her practice are identity and place. The inside, the outside, boundaries, and the movement between the two. She uses playfulness and humour as a coping mechanism and a way of exploring complex, often troubling topics in an accessible way.  Her PhD research explores alter egos as an alternative space.

She was selected for Wells Contemporary 2022 and short listed for the High prize 2021. She has work at Reading station. Her work has been shown at The Sunbury Gallery (solo show), The National Trust, The RSPB, Earley Station, Trowbridge Town Hall, Cromwell Place Gallery and The Crypt Gallery London, and is on permanent display at South Western Rail, The Sculpture Park Farnham, The War Horse memorial at Royal Ascot and Frimley Park Hospital. She has had two residencies at Stand Point Gallery, London.