New SPX Lighting for St Mary's Church in Sydney

St Mary's Cathedral is the spiritual home of Sydney's Catholic community. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Sydney, and stands on the site of the first Catholic Chapel in Australia. Constructed in local sandstone, the "Gothic Revival" style of its architecture is reminiscent of the great medieval cathedrals of Europe. St Mary's is not only a great legacy from the past, it is a vital part of the present spiritual and cultural life of the city and the nation.

In early June Herkes Prolighting was contacted by Ralph Morris, Manager of Facilities and Conservation, about offering a lighting solution for some very important new arrivals at St Mary's Cathedral. These new arrivals are magnificent marble sculptures by Nigel Boonham, sculpted in the UK and transported and installed very carefully.

The tasks were to light the two new statues (The Risen Christ and Mary Magdalene), the signature marble Altar and the Sanctuary with new fittings and to re refocus and re-plot the existing altar and sanctuary lighting.

A subsequent site visit from Wayne Kellett of HPL (below) saw the recommendation and acceptance of 4x SPX 25°-35° Zoomspots and 4x SPX 14° Fixed Beams fitted with long-life GLB lamps. These luminaires had just been received by Herkes as demonstration stock, but were immediately required to answer a higher calling in the Cathedral.


The Herkes team worked closely with the creative staff at the Cathedral to ensure optimum performance and location of the luminaires within the heritage environment of the Cathedral. Also to re focus and re plot in the lighting state presets the new lights and the existing stock of pars and area flood lights. Although St Mary's has some excellent lighting positions in so far as height is concerned there was some strict limitations on the available angles to shoot from. Also the marble finish offered challenges as it needs angles to enhance the contours of the works and must not appear washed out and two dimensional

With Wayne Kellett was Phil Dunesky, acting as lighting designer/coordinator for Herkes Prolighting, Matt Huijsse from Graftons Lighting, and St Mary's technical staff who implemented this lighting task to great effect with all parties ( Sculptor, Client and Supplier) most pleased with the result.

Next time you are in Sydney why not take a look.

Photos of the three sculptures are called St Mary's Cathedral Tryptich: Titles of the individual works are The Entombed Christ relief for the Altar, The Risen Christ, and Mary Magdalene. Copyright to and by the Sculptor Nigel Boonham.

Other photos by Wayne Kellett and Phil Dunesky.