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Rose Finn-Kelcey - Angel

It is with much regret that Art and Sacred Places acknowledges the sad loss of Rose Finn-Kelcey in February 2014, aged 68. We are deeply indebted to Rose for our most treasured project, her magnificent work Angel . Rose was an artist of great integrity who gave so generously of her time and talents. Her work with and for St Paul's was exceptional. She will be sadly missed.

Rose Finn-Kelcey developed Angel as a response to St Paul's Church, Bow Common in the East End of London.

This temporary commission on the exterior of the Church was a response not only to the minimal architecture of this 1960s listed building and its location at a busy crossroads, but also to the diverse communities of extraordinary individuals within St Paul's and its immediate neighbourhood. As with all her work, Finn-Kelcey's choice of material was both innovative and absolutely integral to the piece. The wall above the main entrance to the church (a site customarily associated with sacred figures depicted in stone, glass or wood) was transformed into a sparkling sea of movement and colour using thousands of shimmer discs, a material most commonly associated with billboards or theatre signs. Within this sparkling wall a cryptic text appeared - an emoticon for "angel". "When the separate parts of the image come together they create the most dynamic and visually economic rendition of an angel." (Rose Finn-Kelcey).

Comments: "She understood the community, took us as we are and respected us." "They didn't just accept it, they were proud of it." "There was grieving when it was taken down." "That road became a sacred place." "So much angel dust came off it. The whole process was a spiritual one." "Art and Sacred Places is knocking on the boundary in every possible way."

Finn-Kelcey's work was part of the Art and Sacred Places 2003/4 Programme when three artists were invited to make new works for three major churches in the south of England. The works arose from the response of the artists to these historic buildings and the communities that inhabit and visit them.

Each project had its individual character, but all three investigated the connections between art, spirituality and faith today. In each venue there were activities and events designed to encourage debate and appreciation of the artworks and opportunities to explore the issues raised by them.

Angel was on display 24 hours a day situated, as it was, on an outside wall and illuminated at night. Display dates were 22nd February to 22nd July 2004

A website Publication was prepared for Angel at

Project funders and supporters included: Arts Council England South East, Arts Council England London, Visiting Arts, Fondation de France, Henry Moore Foundation, London Institute, The Jerusalem Trust, Abbey Harris Mural Fund, Poplar Harca


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