Ipswich church immortalised in speed painting

Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia with her first painting of St Clement's Church for the Ipswich Arts Cen

Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia with her first painting of St Clement's Church for the Ipswich Arts Centre Picture: LOIS CORDELIA - Credit: Archant

Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia brought the medieval church of St Clement’s to life on Thursday evening during a dynamic live painting session.

Ms Cordelia performed live speed painting inside St Clement’s on Thursday, February 28, as part of the Ipswich Arts Centre Memories Project exhibition.

The two-day event showcased the history of the church – which had previously been left largely unused since its closure in the 1970s.

Funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Memories Project served as a mouthpiece for members of the public who had been sharing their recollections of the church since May 2018.

Speaking about her part in the event, the freelance artist, who previously worked on the Ipswich-inspired project Pigs Gone Wild, said there is always a degree of improvisation when speed painting.


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“I was given a picture of the inside of the church – which I haven’t been fortunate enough to step inside yet – and think it would be great to do something along the lines of my painting of the exterior,” she said.

“Less is more when it comes to speed painting, I like to use the fewest strokes.

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“I’m really hopeful though, and think that people will really enjoy the event.”

Ms Cordelia also created a brightly-coloured contemporary painting of the Waterfront church, which was finished in the sunshine last week and unveiled at the exhibit’s opening evening on Wednesday, February 27, by Ipswich mayor Jane Riley.

It was intended to showcase the church’s future alongside memories of its past.

Ms Cordelia added: “When I was first approached about the painting two weeks ago, I thought: ‘That’s such a lovely idea’.

“I started the painting with a black canvas, which when the bright colours were added was like the church coming out of oblivion and back into the light. It’s also similar to a stained glass window.

“A couple of people told me that it was like a phoenix – it was exactly the sort of reaction I was after.”

After years of standing empty, the church is now set to become the new Ipswich Arts Centre.

The exhibition, which was free to enter, ran from 9am till 8pm on February 27 and February 28 in the University of Suffolk’s Waterfront Building.

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