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Do you know the difference between a gargoyle and a grotesque?

Do you know the difference between a gargoyle and a grotesque?

 

Do you know the difference between a gargoyle and a grotesque?

As we enter Gargoyle Week,  we caught up with veteran Canterbury Cathedral stonemason, Benn Swinfield, to ask him just this.

According to Benn, a gargoyle contains a water spout through the mouth, whereas grotesques do not. But what’s the difference between a stonemason and an artist? Does a stonemason consider themselves an artist?

“Not really,” says Benn, who has been a stonemason now for 15 years “I see myself as a craftsman more than anything. I want to create a legacy though, work which will be part of the Cathedral for many years to come. The legacy is to be part of a chain of work, and that includes apprentices which are a vital link in the chain of that legacy. That’s what being a stonemason means to me.”

For graphic artist Zara Slattery, who has designed colouring masks for our Discovery Days, being an artist is all about telling a story. “I want to create fun work, and work which has a narrative. I’ve looked at Benn’s work and been inspired to create faces which will be engaging. Because of that inspiration there is a suggestion of 3D in the masks”. Zara has also been inspired by the story of Elwood in the Becket miracle windows and is creating a graphic book based on this story.

Both Zara and Benn have been inspired by the Cathedral, wanting to create work with a fresh approach, but with previous medieval stonemasonry and stained glass windows serving as a reference and inspiration.

Take part in our Gargoyle Week and discover what will inspire you and your family.

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