The Public Pulpit
A temporary installation that transforms a powerful and authoritative architectural typology into an open platform for discussion in the contemporary city
- The Public Pulpit speaks rather than being spoken to
- The Public Pulpit is owned, and free for use, by everyone
- The Public Pulpit aspires to not just communicate the views of an individual, nor the views of the masses, but the views of the masses of individuals
- Not to be seen as polemic or dogmatic, The Public Pulpit is an impartial object that is merely pro-public
The Public Pulpit transforms a powerful and authoritative architectural typology into an open platform for discussion in the contemporary city. The traditional Christian pulpit can be understood as a tool or vessel to deliver ‘truths’ to the masses. By bringing the structure out into urban space, a dissolution of hierarchies occurs where people are free to speak ‘from the pulpit’. The Public Pulpit discusses themes both of our increasingly secular society and the politics of urban space. ‘Taking ownership’ is the key message, of one’s own voice, and of public space through appropriation and inclusiveness.
The Public Pulpit is made in birch plywood with pre-cast concrete feet, and was placed in the car park of St Anne's Cathedral, Talbot Street, Belfast. The installation and associated performances were part of the programme for 'Imagine! Belfast Festival of Ideas and Politics 2018.'
This pulpit is in memoriam of the original pulpit of St Annes Cathedral, a gift from Westminster in 1904, which was blown to pieces by a terrorist bomb whilst stored in a warehouse, following the negotiation of its sale to Dallas, Texas.