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Hirst, Quinn and Whiteread feature in contemporary sculpture exhibitions

Published: 6 March 2007

Work by the cream of contemporary artists is on show in the south this year, with artists including Turner Prize winner Rachel Whiteread, Mark Quinn, and original Young British Artist Damien Hirst exhibiting their work in a series of three major exhibitions curated by the University of Southampton's Winchester School of Art.

The exhibitions are part of the Winchester Year of Sculpture 2007 which will see modern sculpture on show in the atmospheric surroundings of one of Hampshire's most historic cities. Head of Sculpture at Winchester School of Art, Professor John Gibbons has curated all three exhibitions and has attracted an exciting line-up of influential artists to take part.

Professor Gibbons, who is also a working sculptor, explains: "Key to the artistic vision behind the exhibitions is the contrast of ancient buildings and modern pieces of art, which are simultaneously at home in and at odds with their surroundings. This relationship between the objects and the setting offers visitors an opportunity to see both in a new way."

For the first exhibition 'Rummage - Sculptors' Drawings', living sculptors from across the generations, including Anthony Caro, Richard Deacon and Richard Long, have loaned preparatory sketches and drawings which give an insight into their working methods and creativity . The exhibition opens at The Winchester Gallery, part of the School of Art, on 25 April and runs until 5 June.

'Light', showing in Winchester Cathedral from 3 May until 31 July, features work by Mark Quinn, Rachel Whiteread and David Batchelor. The exhibition also includes an installation in the Cathedral crypt by Darren Almond, a graduate of Winchester School of Art and a Turner Prize nominee in 2005. All the works will reflect on the nature of the human condition as experienced through contemporary sculpture placed within the Cathedral's historical, religious setting.

The Year of Sculpture ends with 'We're Born, We Look Around, We Die.', a major solo exhibition of classic works by Damien Hirst in the Great Hall in Winchester from September until January 2008. The collection of 16 works has never previously been shown together. Works on show will include A Thousand Years Away from the Flock, a series of new butterfly wing paintings inspired by stained glass windows and the 10 metre high bronze sculpture The Virgin Mother.

Professor Bill Wakeham, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton comments: "I am delighted that the University has been able to play such a key role in the Winchester Year of Sculpture 2007 which is undoubtedly one of the most significant cultural events taking place in the region this year.

"Our contribution is particularly appropriate because our prestigious School of Art is based in the city and a number of our talented art graduates are exhibiting their work in these three exciting exhibitions. Attracting such high-profile and influential artists to exhibit their work in the region is a great achievement for the School of Art and highlights the University's reputation as a leading UK university in arts and humanities."

The Year of Sculpture 2007 is organised by Winchester City Council with support from the University of Southampton, Hampshire County Council, Winchester Cathedral, Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

A series of talks, fringe exhibitions and tours for both adults and children will complement the main exhibitions.

Notes for editors

The Winchester Year of Sculpture runs between April 2007 and January 2008.  There
Are three exhibitions:

 'Rummage - Sculptors' Drawing' 25 April - 5 June 2007
The Winchester Gallery, Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton,
Park Avenue, Winchester SO23 8DL

 'Light' 3 May - 31 July 2007 
Winchester Cathedral, Winchester SO23 9LS 

Damien Hirst: 'We're Born, We Look Around, We Die.' 21 September 2007 - 10 January 2008
Great Hall, Castle Avenue, Winchester SO23 8PJ

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