A NEW exhibition celebrating the King James Bible will open in Salisbury next month.

The city’s Sarum College launched its new visual arts programme on September 2 with The Word – A Reflection on the King James Bible. Works in sculpture and lettering on stone, glass and fabric offer areflection on the cultural importance of the King James version of the Bible and its contribution to society through Christianity.

The Presence of Christ, a carving by Henry Gray in Portland stone, is decorated in the colourful style prevalent when the Bible was first printed 400 years ago. “These days it is unfashionable to paint stone,” comments Gray. “Tastes and attitudes change, so the continuity provided by the written word is essential.

“It can help to carry the message that resides in our hearts; that it is possible to move beyond the words, towards a direct relationship with the love of God. This is to be treasured.”

Alabaster is key to sculptures by Frederic Chevarin ARBS and Roger Stephens.

“As Christ is light, the pale fragile alabaster echoes the subject thanks to natural light shining through the material,” says Chevarin about his sculpture, Nativity. “All the curves in alabaster turn as the movement represent life.”

The other exhibition artists are Peter Eugene Ball, Tim Chadsey, Zoe Cull and Alex Evans, Christopher Elsey, Robyn Golden-Hann, Elizabeth Herkstroter, Giles Macdonald, Mary Noble, Jemimah Patterson, Suzanne Redstone ARBS and Tracey Sheppard FGE.

The Word is free and open to the public. Opening hours are 9am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday (closed Sundays). The exhibition ends on December 19.