Stretch: Sophia Clist with Nick Burge

Stretch is an interactive artwork for all ages, a sound sculpture, a screen made of nearly eight miles of fine strands of elastic stretched across the nave of Exeter Cathedral. Come and explore. Look out for more Stretch events: @sophiaclist on Twitter and

Mon 15 May
Tue 16 May
Wed 17 May
Thu 18 May
Fri 19 May

Additional evening opening: Tue 16 May, 6.30pm–8pm. Performance event: Wed 17 May, 7:45pm. Free entry to the Cathedral if you quote ‘Art Week Exeter’ or show your AWE programme booklet. Please consider a donation to Exeter Cathedral to continue the work and upkeep of this magnificent building.



Stretch is an interactive installation, a sound sculpture, an improvised performance and a workshop experience. A screen made of nearly eight miles of fine shirring elastic under tension, Stretch will be installed across the nave of Exeter Cathedral. The nature of the cathedral as a place of contemplation is of great interest to the artists and will influence the way in which the public engages with the sculpture which invites interaction, quietly provoking the visitor to manipulate it, and to discover its potential to transform and be transformed.

Presented as interactive artwork, the audience can engage with the sculpture informally, discovering its sound making potential for themselves. The sculpture’s capacity to make sound is harnessed by connecting the strands of elastic to a sound box to which a number of pick-up microphones and pressure sensors are attached. Raw and recorded sounds, created and activated as a result of a visitor/performer touching the sculpture, are captured, processed and amplified. In the sound design for the vast acoustic space of the cathedral Nick Burge has the unique & exciting opportunity to exploit a complex reverberation of long duration allowing the building to speak, whisper and sing in response to Stretch.

Stretch’s potential audience is limitless. It is an inclusive work, accessible to all ages, as intriguing and enthralling to a child as to an elderly person or a wheelchair user, who can be gently pushed right into the elastic to have a rich sensory experience. Stretch is an intensely participatory work, its responsiveness drawing the viewer into a creative experience inside the work. There is room for a variety of interactions from the large to the small, the physical to the contemplative, in many permutations. And for those who prefer to remain on the outside, to observe family, friends or strangers explore and engage, is a fascinating experience.

Sophia Clist conceived and designed Stretch. She has worked with Nick Burge on Stretch since 2004, his role developing and expanding with the project as his extensive creative and technical skill base has been revealed. He has responded to and continues to develop Sophia’s original ideas for the installation’s component parts in sound design, lighting and video projection.

Stretch is supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

Stretch is also supported by Exeter Cathedral, Exeter City Council, Devon County Council, Dance in Devon, Stage Technical Services, Vitruvius Building Conservation and Crying Out Loud.


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This takes place at…

Venue 2
Exeter Cathedral


Cathedral Green, Exeter, EX1 1HS

Map, directions and facilities…