Kericho Cathedral

Submitted by John Clark

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Client: Catholic Diocese of Kericho

Location: Kericho, Kenya

Completion date: 2015

Artwork budget: $500,000

Project Team

Artist

John Kenneth Clark

Architect

George Paterson

Artist

Florence Wangui

Overview

This project is the complete Art in Architecture project.To find and mentor local Kenyan artists to create the site specific works for this building.Materials, terra cotta tile, stone mosaic from offcuts, glass relief sculpted panels “Stations of the Cross” coloured and non coloured, soapstone sculptures, bronze relief sculpted door panels, brass full sized figure for the crucifix and the east and west windows.

Goals

Art works were to the fore in the planning and creation of this new cathedral. The art works were designed and were being made as the building was being constructed. The largest and most visible area of the building, the roof is one artwork.

Process

I was part of the architectural design team to add comment and to plan and integrate all art works into the new Cathedral. The areas for the art works were decided during the planning stage and integrated into the design of the building. My main function was the aiding and mentoring of Kenyan artists to produce these art works for the building. All of them had little or no concept of designing to scale . Whenever required or necessary, I designed pieces and mentored the artists during the manufacturing phase. This mentoring was part of my brief. We were also required to use whenever possible, local skills and materials. The only real import of materials was the US produced Bullseye Glass. The Various aspects of the project were made in conjunction with Florence Wangui ,Rajinder Ahmed - bronze Doors Panels, Githaka Karuri, mosaic, Toumer Yeshim - Brass Crucifix Figure.

Additional Information

The challenge of this project was to engage the local artists who were prepared to think ahead in a process, to understand the concepts of scale design and then to adapt and learn new skills and methods. It is an amazingly successful project achieved in difficult conditions.