We facilitated a reflective arts space and an evening of creative art, reflection and music at Manchester Cathedral with international artist Ghislaine Howard. Named Woman of the Year in 2008 for her contribution to art and society Ghislaine talked about her inspiration and practice in relation to her life size painting of The Return of the Prodigal Son that was on display at the cathedral until 20th September 2015.

Using Ghislaine’s painting as a touchstone, her husband Michael Howard, a renowned art historian explored the history and some of the key issues that are suggested by The Return of the Prodigal Son. These lively and animated talks were interspersed by music from ‘Epiphany’ who delighted us with their own improvised interpretation to the art work as well as some classical performances.

This was a great opportunity to engage creatively with this important and well loved story.

 Ghislaine explains, “The idea of painting the Return of the Prodigal Son was an enormous challenge – how to recreate a subject already given such magisterial form by Rembrandt and the great Russian film director, Andrei Tarkovsky. It is a subject that is perhaps at the very centre of everything I do; it goes straight to the heart of what it is to be human – our weaknesses and our strengths. It embodies the silence of the moment of forgiveness, reconciliation and redemption – in a word, compassion.”