Heinrich & Palmer: Once a Desert

Working with Chester Cathedral

Chester Cathedral was the venue for this stunning large-scale video, sound and light installation created especially for this majestic space by artists Heinrich & Palmer. Filling the interior of the cathedral with a 17.5m-high voile hung from its vaulted ceiling, Once a Desert used high speed film and animated point cloud imagery created from 3D laser scans of the cathedral to produce an awe-inspiring work of art accompanied by a mesmerising soundscape.

The installation harked back to a time when the rock used to construct the Cathedral was laid down in the Triassic period – some 200 million years ago – when this country was a desert lying to the south of the Sahara.

Once a Desert was an ethereal journey into deep time, celebrating the ancient geology and history of Chester’s magnificent cathedral.