Bill Viola: Earth Martyr, Air Martyr, Fire Martyr, and Water Martyr

The artist's video work challenges preconceptions about faith.

Bill Viola, Earth Martyr, Air Martyr, Fire Martyr, and Water Martyr, 2014 © the artist

Bill Viola, Earth Martyr, Air Martyr, Fire Martyr, and Water Martyr, 2014

When Viola's video-installation was unveiled at St Paul’s Cathedral last year, art critic Jonathan Jones heralded it as 'visionary... a powerful modern altarpiece'. Now the artist has recreated this seminal work – which shows four individuals each being assaulted by the elements – for Auckland Castle.

In this display the films are shown as separate pieces spaced around the chapel. Each matyr begins in stillness, but as flames rain down, winds begin to lash, water cascades, and earth flies up, they gradually pass from death into the light.


Venue details

Auckland Castle Bishop Auckland County Durham DL14 7NR 01388 743750 www.aucklandcastle.org

Entry details

Free with National Art Pass (standard entry £6)

1 Feb  30 Sep

Mon, Wed – Sun, 10 am – 5pm (last admission 4pm)