Chloe Campbell’s spectacular ‘Wren on Paper’ exhibition

Chloe Campbell (MO 2005-2010) exhibited playing cards and 52 papercuts of the churches in the City of London, built by the office of Sir Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of London in September-October this year. Alongside photographer and printmaker James Newton, the exhibition Wren on Paper at the Alan Baxter Gallery in London, was a celebration of Wren 300, 300 years since the death of Christopher Wren.

Chloe researched the churches in the City of London in 2020 and discovered that the office of Christopher Wren built the perfect number of churches to create a deck of 52 playing cards with one church for every card. Chloe has made Temple Bar, the Ceremonial City of London gateway and the Monument to the Great Fire of London, the only secular buildings built by the office of Sir Christopher Wren in the City of London, the Jokers in the pack.

The original designs of each church are papercuts where Chloe has drawn a design and cut it out by hand with a scalpel. The design remains as one sheet of paper and a selection of the 54 papercuts were exhibited in floating frames with light shining on them to create shadows. The exhibition was curated with the playing cards and papercuts ordered by the date of the Saint of the churches’ Feast Day. The First Edition of Chloe’s Wren 300 Playing Cards sold out at the Private View of the Wren on Paper exhibition.

Chloe used resources from London Metropolitan Archives and the Friends of the City Churches for the nineteen churches that no longer exist. The map below was exhibited at Wren on Paper to show where the churches that no longer exist were originally built in the City of London and the two churches that were taken down and rebuilt outside of the City of London. St Mary Aldermanbury was taken down and rebuilt in Fulton, Missouri, USA in 1966 and All Hallows Lombard Street was taken down and rebuilt in Twickenham in 1939. The map also shows the thirty three churches still exist, the seven churches where only the tower remains and Temple Church where the interior of the church was created by the office of Christopher Wren.

This year, Chloe ran workshops for Wren 300 for London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE, City of London Corporation and St Stephen Walbrook. Her art is sold at the shop at St Paul’s Cathedral and her playing cards have been avidly collected including by the Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards. Chloe has started creating playing cards of the Cathedrals in England and Wales and may also make a deck of playing cards of significant buildings in the City of London including the Livery Halls.

Chloe’s Wren 300 Playing Cards can be bought on her website