Cathedral to dedicate bicentennial artwork

Monday, May 22, 7:30-9:30 p.m., Christ Church Cathedral

A new sculpture created for Christ Church Cathedral’s 200th anniversary will be dedicated at a concert this weekend.

“Murmuration,” a site-specific sculpture by Anne Patterson, depicts the eponymous phenomenon whereby birds in massive flocks fly in an ever-changing formation, much like a living sculpture.

“In the natural world, each bird is a thing of beauty,” said Patterson. “But when many birds join together in a murmuration, the effect is otherworldly. Just as birds in a flock can create awe-inspiring cloud-like formations, we individual humans can create something that is greater, more powerful and more beautiful together as a community.”  

Artist Anne Patterson

Artist Anne Patterson

The sculpture – made from steel, copper and brass mesh – consists of more than 1,000 hand-strung birds and is 90 feet long. A companion outdoor mural, entitled “As One,” measures 20 by 24 feet. Companion birds will be placed outside the building and throughout the city. These pieces, in outreach programs and community centers, act as a metaphor for Christ Church’s longstanding involvement in the city.

“A bicentennial is certainly an important milestone, but our focus is on our third century,” said the Rev. Gail Greenwell, dean of Christ Church Cathedral. “We sought an image and artist who could convey the way our cathedral community has moved in, with, and through our city, lifting spirits and transforming lives.”

The concert by Collegium Cincinnati will feature the premiere of composer Patrick Harlin’s work, “Art of Flight,”  commissioned for the dedication. Collegium Cincinnati also will perform Antonio Vivaldi’s complete “Four Seasons.”

“Murmuration” is the artist’s second large-scale piece for a cathedral. In 2013, she created “Graced With Light” for Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.


Take a peek

The installation of “Murmuration” was a major undertaking.

It involved suspending more than 1,00 brass, silver and copper mesh birds in formation throughout the sanctuary at Christ Church Cathedral. For starters, all the pews had to be removed temporarily.

Want to take a look?

Although “Murmuration” won’t be officially dedicated until May 22, you are welcome to take a peek before then – and take pictures.

Visitors are invited to post their photos and tag them using: #Cincymurmuration.

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