The Small House - Art Installation by Richard Woods

  • Venue


  • Time

    9:00 AM

  • Price

    FREE (No need to book in advance)

Southwark Cathedral has commissioned a major art installation, entitled The Small House, by the artist Richard Woods

Richard’s work appears across the UK and at various sites globally.

“The Small House is a simplified facsimile of a normal terraced house. It is a 2D cartoon depiction of a terraced house, the architecture of everyday. Standing at 7.5 metres tall and positioned directly in front of the magnificent Great Screen of Southwark Cathedral, The Small House aims to spark up a conversation with the transcendental architecture of the Cathedral. I see it as a meeting of the architecture of the everyday and the grandeur of the Gothic architecture that is something beyond the everyday,” said Richard.

The Dean of Southwark, the Very Revd Andrew Nunn, said,

“Ask a child to draw a house and they will probably draw something that is similar to the house that all of us have drawn.  Our images of a house are iconic.  But whilst we will draw such a house few of us live as comfortably, with a smoking chimney, a picket fence, outside space and roses round the door.  ‘The Small House’ invites us to think about our concept and fantasy of house and home and to ask the serious questions about why so many live in sub-standard housing or on the street.  Richard Woods’ ‘The Small House’ sits in the big house, the house of God, iconic in its own right – the abiding with us God, who opens the door of the divine house and invites us in to find a home.”

Opening times are 9am – 5pm daily and The Small House is on display from Saturday 6 August through to Wednesday 31 August. Admission is free.


Richard Woods was born in Chester, England, in 1966 and graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art, London in 1990, where he trained as a sculptor. Woods is well known for his architectural installations and re-surfacing of structures that propose an absurd twist on the cult of home improvement and DIY aesthetics. His works are characterised by cartoon-like decorative surfaces, bold patterns and vibrant colours.  

Woods most recently executed a 86,000 sq ft drawing of a house on the main lawn in a solo exhibition at Houghton Hall and completed a major architectural commission in South Korea for the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, designed an interior for the Comme des Garçons' flagship store in Osaka, orchestrated the mock Tudor overhaul of a private residence in New York and transformed the interior of Cary Grant's former Hollywood residence for its new owner, Jeffrey Deitch. In 2003, his re-paving of a cloistered courtyard was the centrepiece of The Henry Moore Foundation's exhibition at the 50th International Venice Biennale of Art.

Other recent exhibitions and projects include ‘Small , medium and Large , Grosvenor Gardens 2020 , Frieze Sculpture, London (2018, 2013); Chelsea Space, London (2017); Folkestone Triennial (2017); Eastside Projects, Birmingham (2016); Festival of Love, Southbank Centre, London (2015); Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff (2015); Albion Barn, Oxford (2015); Bloomberg Space, London (2012) and Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2009).

His works are held in major collections including the Saatchi Collection, London; Arts Council England, London; Victoria and Albert Museum; London; British Museum, London and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Richard Woods lives and works in London.

Instagram: richardwoodsstudio

The Small House, Fountains Abbey, North Yorkshire, 2021 Credit: Richard Woods Studio