Lund Cathedral, in collaboration with White Arkitekter, has commissioned a major new artwork by internationally renowned British artist Nathan Coley. The work, entitled And We Are Everywhere, was launched in Lund, Sweden, on 2 June 2018 and will remain onsite until March 2019.
And We Are Everywhere is the first artwork to be commissioned for the Church’s land in Brunnshög, an area on the edge of Lund which is central to the city’s ambitious plans for expansion. Sited within a rural landscape, the sculpture addresses fundamental issues at stake in both the Church’s development and 21st century life: the ways in which faith and belief systems become manifest; the role of the Church; and the drive for humanity to find a place in the world.
The character of the work is temporary, ramshackle and seemingly unauthored. In direct contrast to Lund Cathedral, it takes the form of a hastily made place of worship that has no official status and can be easily destroyed. However, the attention to detail and evident care with which it has been constructed references basic human actions, humility and the art of ‘making-do’.
The title begs the question ‘Who is ‘we’?’ Is it the Church, humankind, or people with no homeland? The ‘everywhere’ evokes a spatial relationship to the land which could encompass Brunnshög, Lund, Sweden, the world. While being inherently linked to the soil upon which it sits, the sculpture speaks to a universal audience.
The Commission is part of the Råängen programme, established by Lund Cathedral in 2017 as an inclusive platform for discussion about how the Church’s land is developed in Brunnshög.
Råängen is a five-year programme of public and international events, talks and seminars on subjects relating to time, land, value, ownership and belief systems. It has been devised in collaboration with White Arkitekter, who have been commissioned to transform the Cathedral’s twelve hectares of farm land into a new urban extension, informed by the consultation programme.
Jake Ford, Råängen Programme Director, White Arkitekter commented “It is hugely exciting that this is the first mark on the land at Råängen. Nathan’s sculpture is a temporary artwork which will no doubt influence the long-term building project. As the first commission, this demonstrates the ambitions of the client: to talk before you build, and to expand the debate around contemporary urban development.”
Following the launch of And We Are Everywhere, Norwegian architects Brendeland and Kristoffersen will launch a public garden as part of the programme in Spring 2019.
Johan Tyrberg, Bishop, Diocese of Lund
“The work forces us to consider what churches are, why we need them, what a sacred building is in relation to a place of worship. Luther campaigned that there was no such thing as a sacred building – that services could take place anywhere. The Lutheran churches has since then realized the importance of the sanctity of churches, and the importance to acknowledge the respect people give churches. How do we know a church is a church? Is it supposed to look like a church?”
Lena Sjöstrand, Chaplain, Lund Cathedral
“I am excited to see the response to Nathan’s sculpture in Brunnshög. It has huge integrity and raises many questions about the nature of faith and humanity. I’m interested in the empty space inside the work and how this can be linked to Christian ideas of dwelling. It is important to me that we meet the personal voice of the artist, and that this builds on the Cathedral’s long-term commitment to engaging with contemporary artists.”
Jes Fernie, Curator, Råängen
“Twenty-five years in the field of contemporary art commissioning and I’ve never come across this level of ambition, openness and intellectual rigour, matched by both commissioner and artist. It’s incredibly exciting to see the result: an artwork that addresses head-on, the fundamental issues of our day.”
Kieran Long, Director, ArkDes, and Råängen Advisory Group member
“Råängen is a fascinating programme which contributes significantly to the conversation around urban expansion in the 21st century. Nathan Coley’s artwork is a bold and rigorous starting point for this dialogue.”
Åsa Nacking, Director, Lunds Konsthall, and Råängen Advisory Group member
“A tent or a church? It stands out, at least on this site, while it is only too recognisable from media news reports. When art is at its best, it reflects its own time. With Nathan Coley’s new work, we are reminded that we live in a moment characterized by huge change and population movement – something to keep in mind when planning for the future.”
For further information on White Arkitekter please contact Gloria Roberts at Caro Communications Gloria@carocommunications.com
For further information on And We Are Everywhere please contact Jes Fernie – firstname.lastname@example.org