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ARK at Chester Cathedral

Free entry | 7 July – 15 October 2017

Education Partner

What is ARK?

ARK is a world class modern and contemporary sculpture exhibition at Chester Cathedral, which runs until 15 October 2017.  ARK is the largest sculpture exhibition to be held in the north west of England and features 90, three dimensional works by over 50 internationally renowned sculptors including Damien Hirst, Sir Antony Gormley, Lynn Chadwick, Barbara Hepworth, Sarah Lucas, David Mach, Kenneth Armitage and Peter Randall-Page, amongst others.

This exhibition uses the magnificent interior of the cathedral as a backdrop to extraordinary works of art as well as the beautiful and ancient spaces surrounding it. Several sculptors will are showing brand new works of art whilst some pieces will emerge for public view from private collections. It is the first time these pieces have been seen together.

ARK is free to enter.

Click to our official ARK exhibition mini-site here

Why ARK?

An ‘ARK’ is variously defined as a vessel, a place of refuge or a container to protect items and the cathedral is traditionally a place of sanctuary or simply a place for people to gather. In a metaphorical context, vessels appear often in abstract sculpture as do animals and they represent the myriad of creatures that appear woven into the fabric of the cathedral. The cathedral, symbolised as an ARK, embraces them all.

Why Chester Cathedral?

The red sandstone of Chester’s Gothic cathedral dominates the city centre and its historic interior provides an atmospheric creative space offering unparalleled accessibility to visitors. Chester Cathedral is the largest exhibition space within Chester. We hope ARK will start conversations and debate and will change the way people view our cathedral space.

Who is ARK aimed at?

The 90 art works will appeal to a broad audience and we hope there is something for everyone in ARK. New commissions will appear alongside established works of art and a number will be on loan from private collections. A sculptural menagerie will include child friendly pieces and an education programme will be aimed at schools, colleges and university students as well as all visitors with an interest in art and sculpture.

Opening times

ARK is now open, and will run until 15 October 2017.

The exhibition is open daily Mon – Sat 9am – 6pm, and Sun 1pm – 6pm*

*Please note the cathedral will be closed, temporarily, to the public on the following dates:

  • Sunday 3 September – The nave will be temporarily closed from 2.45pm to 5pm
  • Sunday 10 September – The nave will be temporarily closed from 2.45pm to 5pm
  • Friday 15 September – The nave will be temporarily closed from 1pm to 3pm

As a working cathedral, there are times when we must restrict public access.  If you are making a long journey to visit ARK, it is advisable to check back here for advice, or call the switchboard (01244) 324756 to check opening times in advance.

Press room

Please contact:

Kevin Baxter (01244) 500969 |

Guided tours

Danielle O’ Sullivan (01244) 699044 |