Cathedral Celebrates 900th Anniversary with star-gazing art installation – A MAJOR summer art installation celebrating the 900th anniversary of Carlisle Cathedral is being launched this month.
Rest Under the Stars will see visitors relaxing on deckchairs in part of the Cathedral while admiring the stars on its world-famous painted ceiling.
Headphones with specially created soundscapes will add to the restful atmosphere of the event, which is one of the highlights of a year-long celebration in 2022 to mark 900 years since the foundation of Carlisle Cathedral.
The Cathedral has partnered with Carlisle-based charity Prism Arts to create the installation, which opens to visitors on Thursday, July 28 and runs until Friday, September 2.
The event is free to visitors, with tickets for the 45-minute slots available to pre-book in advance or as walk-ins on the day.
The Revd Canon Dr Benjamin Carter, who is Canon Warden at Carlisle Cathedral, said: “Rest Under the Stars offers people an opportunity to find rest among the busyness of daily life, which is something the Cathedral has offered to Carlisle and its diocese throughout its history.
“Prism Arts have perfectly captured the Cathedral’s unique atmosphere and sense of history through this amazing project.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming visitors to the Cathedral to experience Rest Under the Stars and join us in celebrating our special anniversary year.”
Prism Arts has been working on the Rest Under the Stars project for several months, with artists spending time in the Cathedral every week to provide inspiration for the installation.
Established in 1987, the charity delivers projects and programmes for people with disabilities who may ordinarily face barriers to accessing arts activities and creative development opportunities.
The artists have created a mixed media work including textile art which has been used to upholster the deckchairs and beanbags on which visitors will sit to gaze at the stars. They have also worked with sound artist Tim Shaw on the soundscapes which form part of the immersive experience.
Katie Lock, Visual Arts Lead at Prism Arts, said: “Carlisle Cathedral has special significance to the city and the wider region, and to be able to reflect its role as a place where people have found sanctuary and rest over the centuries through this project is a real honour.
“We’re really excited to be helping transform part of the Cathedral into a unique place of rest and relaxation for visitors this summer and we can’t wait to see the public’s reaction to it when it opens.”
Rest Under the Stars is open from 10 am to 4 pm from Monday to Saturday from July 28 to September 2. Tickets can be booked in advance via the Cathedral’s website or are available on the day at the Cathedral.
Carlisle Cathedral’s 900th-anniversary programme of worship, events, talks, concerts, and exhibitions is themed around Journey and Rest to reflect the Cathedral’s role as a place of rest in the restless history of Carlisle and the Border region.
Carlisle Cathedral was founded by King Henry I as an Augustinian Priory in 1122 and became the Cathedral Church of the newly created Diocese of Carlisle in 1133.
The painted gold stars on the blue ceiling of the Cathedral date from the 19th century and have become a world-renowned feature.
Rest Under the Stars is sponsored by Dodd & Co Chartered Accountants. The principal sponsor for Carlisle Cathedral’s 900th-anniversary programme is Hayward Tod estate agents, based in Carlisle.
Many of the events in the programme are supported by grants from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Friends of Carlisle Cathedral. They take place in and around the Cathedral, including at the Fratry Hall which reopened in 2020 following a major restoration project of the former medieval dining hall including a new cafe extension.