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St Martin-in-the-Fields, Candleholders

Main Altar and Paschal Candle Holders
Main Altar Candle Holders
Main Altar Candle Holders
Paschal Candle Holder

As part of the renewal of St Martin-in-the-Fields by Eric Parry Architects, artist Brian Catling (b. 1948, London, UK) was invited to create the main altar and paschal candleholders for the main church. The brief called for designs that would connect with and complement the design of the Processional Cross (also by Catling) as well as the surrounding environment of the main church, with its contemporary East Window by Shirazeh Houshiary and Pip Horne.


The artist states: ‘Finding a metaphor and a formal sculptural solution to the candle holders proved to be a matter of balance and clarity. The majestic poise of the church with its highlights of gold sets a rich constraint, which is amplified by the power of the East Window.’

Brian Catling’s design incorporates forms of furled and knotted fabric that Catling describes as ‘significant in the Passion and Resurrection’. The forms were then manipulated in a resin-based plaster before being cast in aluminium and gilded in Moon Gold. The artworks are inspired by the recurring studies of cloth in religious paintings throughout art history, in particular the work of Zurbarán. The cloth used in making these forms was sourced from Tours, the birthplace of St Martin.


The commission is part of the St Martin-in-the-Fields’ Art Programme curated by Modus Operandi.




Brian Catling

Title of work

St Martin-in-the-Fields Main Altar and Paschal candleholders


St Martin-in-the-Fields


St Martin-in-the-Fields London



Image credit

© Benjamin Westoby