Martyrs Martyrs

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Created by Bill Viola and Kira Perov and opened in May 2014, Martyrs shows four individuals, across four colour vertical plasma screens, being martyred by the four classical elements. The work has no sound. It lasts for seven minutes. Martyrs was joined in 2016 by a second piece entitled Mary. The installations have been gifted to Tate, and are on long-term loan to St Paul’s Cathedral. Bill Viola's commission for St Paul’s Cathedral follows the great historical tradition of commissions for spiritual centres that has resulted in a priceless heritage of art around the world. The result of this commission sees St Paul’s Cathedral, which has always spearheaded the engagement of great artists, house a resonant work of art for our times. Martyrs (and later Mary), will play an important role in connecting contemporary issues with the timeless themes embodied in the cathedral.

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