County artist Yvonne Bell
Cope to spiritually enlighten
Discover how every commission of work for South Northamptonshire artist Yvonne Bell continues her quest for spiritual enlightenment.
When the new Bishop of Taunton, Peter Maurice, was officially welcomed at a special service at Wells Cathedral on 13th January 2007, few people could have failed to notice the colourful cope he was wearing.
Yvonne Bell holds some of her paintings
It was a particularly proud moment for Yvonne Bell, the artist who designed and made the cope in her studio in the South Northamptonshire. But, she sees every commission as a quest for spiritual enlightenment...
The Bishop's cope
"If someone came and suggested they just wanted an altar cloth with a picture of a cross on the front, it would feel a bit boring. My gift is to add some spiritual depth to a vestment or a cloth, and perhaps to tell a story of a church or a person and give people a focus to help them worship God."
"The Bishop's cope is made up of two panels which tell the story of his spiritual journey, from his beginnings as a teenager when he discovered God - you can see him as a youngster carrying a cross. Then I've reflected him living and working in London in some quite deprived areas, where he discovered lots of different nationalities and cultures. He moved on to Bath and Wells Diocese, which I think he perceived as very "rural England", but he's since discovered a range of cultures and faiths there as well. So there's a Muslim woman in a Niqab and a Sikh man in a turban.
There are also landmarks for people looking at the cope, everything from cows to people from the armed forces who use helicopters which are made in the Diocese. There's a cricketer playing for Somerset, and a Bishop's crook which he's particularly excited about because his crook has been made by a local woodworker."
By Yvonne Bell - A Christian Sacred Artist and Vestment Maker.
last updated: 18/07/07