Green Ted


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Green Ted at Ely Cathedral

This is the second visit on our new tour of cathedral cities. Salisbury (the first) was nice but Ely is even more pleasant - an individualistic and entirely unpretentious town.

Mary Magdalene Recognises Jesus, David Wynne

Green Ted and Mary Magdelene Recognises Jesus, David Wynne
Mary Magdalene Recognises Jesus, David Wynne
Ely Cathedral
10th June 2018, 14:34
Fuji X-M1, 16-50mm @ 16mm (24mm)
1/400 sec; f/8; ISO 800
Cat. 3,960-62

Mary Magdelene Recognises Jesus, David Wynne, plinth Mary Magdelene Recognises Jesus, David Wynne, label

The full title from the plinth is Mary Magdalene Recognises Jesus on the Morning of his Resurrection. The quote is the last paragraph of an article in the Guardian dated 10th September 2007. The rest of the artice follows with the next piece.

The Church of England is no stranger to bad art. Indeed, a religious commission can reduce an otherwise serious artist to feeble fakery. An earlier group by Wynne can be seen at Ely cathedral and it could be that the dean who commissioned the Lady Chapel horror thought he would be getting something similarly inoffensive. This 1963 piece, called Christ and Mary Magdalene, has been likened to the work of Giacometti, of which it is indeed a craven parody. Such weakness may be safely ignored, tucked away as it is in the south transept, but the thing in the Lady Chapel is a different matter. Where are the iconoclasts now that we really need them? citation

Mary, David Wynne

Green Ted and Dolly Parton, Ely
Mary, David Wynne
Ely Cathedral
10th June 2018, 14:12
Fuji X-M1, 16-50mm @ 27mm (40mm)
1/150 sec; f/5.0; ISO 800
Cat. 3,970-71

Green Ted in the Lady Chapel, Ely

When I saw this, I did not realise that it was a permanent installation. It has the grace of an inflatable sex toy. The following quote from the Guardian is the rest of the article which started above.

For two hundred years or so, the Lady Chapel in Ely Cathedral was a shadowy vault lit by the wheeling daylight that filtered through its stained glass windows. Here the faithful came to implore the intercession of the Virgin Mary, mediatrix of all grace and mercy. Most of this great cathedral, envisioned by William the Conqueror as a bastion of faith shining out over the lawless fens, is Norman in construction and feeling, but the Lady Chapel, which was added to the complex of buildings in the 14th century, with its elaborate tracery and shallow pointed arches, is decorated gothic. Embodied in the impressive silhouette that is visible from miles across the fenlands is the whole history of the English church. Most of the cathedral is built of oolitic limestone quarried at Barnack in Northamptonshire. Peterborough Abbey, which owned the quarry, supplied the stone in exchange for 8,000 eels a year. Now both stone and eels are in short supply.
The spasm of iconoclasm that convulsed eastern England in the aftermath of the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539 left the main body of the cathedral more or less undamaged, but the shrine of St Etheldreda, foundress of the first monastery on the site, was smashed and the Lady Chapel was laid waste. The bigger figures standing in their stone niches were bashed to smithereens and the myriad smaller figures had their heads knocked off. A hundred years later, a more systematic campaign against Laudian innovations, led by William Dowsing, who was appointed Iconoclast General in 1643, stripped the Lady Chapel of its stained glass. At one point Cromwell stabled his horses in the cathedral.
For years the Lady Chapel stood open to the elements, and what remained of the delicate carvings of the interior was further eroded. Now windowed with clear glass, it is an impressively symmetrical, light, cool, uncluttered space, replete with tragic echoes of the lost hopes of the religious reformers for a new state of pure godliness in a world rotten with superstition, greed and hypocrisy.
The chapel's austere monochrome was harshly assailed in 2000 by the installation of a life-size effigy of a woman with raised arms. Half a ton of Portland stone was hoisted up on to a ledge, from which point the carved female figure dominates and dwarfs the whole space. It stands to reason that a lady chapel needs a lady, and here she is. You can tell she is Our Lady because she wears a full-skirted gown of electric blue. A colour less suited to her surroundings could hardly be imagined, unless it be the staring gilt of the belt slung around her hips and applied to the biggest hair since Dolly Parton. The bodice of the gown is no more substantial than a single coat of blue paint, so the breasts raised by the upraised arms are delineated in a manner more akin to soft porn than religious imagery. The Virgin is here depicted at the moment of conception, as she utters the words from St Luke's Gospel: "Behold the Handmaid of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to thy word," whereupon the Word was made flesh.
It takes what Italians call un bel coraggio to depict the moment of the Incarnation, but the sculptor, David Wynne, is not a man to boggle, especially when he has the friendship and support of that most powerful and discriminating patron of the arts, HRH the Prince of Wales. Wynne shrugged off the shock and distress of the faithful of Ely, ignoring remarks in the local media that the statue looks like Charlie Dimmock, in reference perhaps to its evident bra-lessness. Its nose is much wider and flatter than Charlie's, cheekbones ditto and its eyes appear distinctly slanted; it actually looks more like Genghis Khan in a huge blond wig. citation

Christus, Hans Feibusch

Green Ted and
Christus, Hans Feibusch
Ely Cathedral
10th June 2018, 14:17
Fuji X-M1, 16-50mm @ 16mm (24mm)
1/5 sec; f/3.5; ISO 800
Cat. 3,980-82

Green Ted and Green Ted and

I tried to seat GT on the right hand of Christus, but he wouldn't stay. There's a nice view the length of the cathedral including the roof on the right. Quote from Wikipedia

Hans Feibusch (15 August 1898 – 18 July 1998) was a German painter and sculptor of Jewish heritage who lived and worked in Britain from 1933 until his death. He is best known for his murals, particularly in Anglican churches. In all he worked in thirty Anglican churches (28 as a muralist, and two—including Ely Cathedral—as sculptor only) and produced what is probably the largest body of work in his particular métier by any artist in the history of the Church of England. wikipedia

Peter Gunning's Tomb

Green Ted and Peter Gunning's Tomb
Peter Gunning's Tomb
Ely Cathedral
10th June 2018, 14:05
Fuji X-M1, 16-50mm @ 16mm (24mm)
1/25 sec; f/3.5; ISO 800
Cat. 3,990-92

Green Ted and Peter Gunning's Tomb Green Ted and Peter Gunning's Tomb

There are plenty of tombs with effigies in the cathedral. I photographed this one because the subject appears particularly louche. It is Peter Gunning, a C17 Bishop of Ely. Quote from Wikipedia.

Peter Gunning (1614 – 6 July 1684) was an English Royalist church leader, Bishop of Chichester and Bishop of Ely.
He was born at Hoo St Werburgh, in Kent, and educated at The King's School, Canterbury and Clare College, Cambridge, where he became a fellow in 1633. Having taken orders, he advocated the Royalist cause eloquently from the pulpit. In 1644, during the English Civil War, he retired to Oxford, and held a chaplaincy at New College until the city surrendered to the Parliamentary forces in 1646. Subsequently he was chaplain, first to the royalist Sir Robert Shirley of Eatington (1629–1656), and then at the Exeter House chapel. After the Restoration in 1660 he was installed as a canon of Canterbury Cathedral. In the same year he returned to Cambridge as Master of Corpus Christi, and was appointed Lady Margaret's Professor of Divinity. He also received the livings of Cottesmore, Rutland, and Stoke Bruerne, Northamptonshire.
In 1661 he became head of St John's College, Cambridge, and was elected Regius Professor of Divinity. He was consecrated bishop of Chichester in 1669, and was translated to the see of Ely in 1674–1675. Holding moderate religious views, he disliked equally Puritanism and Roman Catholicism. wikipedia