Many, many years ago I was happily painting
my abstract paintings when Danny Sullivan suggested that
I should read passages from the Bible to see what I could
find. Eventually, this I did and I created a series of paintings
about The Four Horsemen of the Apocolypse, Isiah, The Good
Samaritan, and quite a few others. These were sold and the
seed was sewn for what now is quite an obsessive interest.
The results were, for me, quite far reaching, and feed into
many aspects of my work today.
Advent was a series
commissioned in late 2000 by Danny Sullivan, the new Director
of Education, Diocese of Oxford, and really represents the
beginning of this journey
shows how these paintings now evolve.
Following on from the success of the Advent
project, in the Summer of 2001, the Diocese proposed the
'The life of Jesus through the eyes of an artist'. In October
2001 I began work on the project.
The life of Jesus through the eyes of an
artist was a joint project between myself, the Oxford-based
publisher BRF, and supported through the generosity of the
Diocese of Oxford.
The objective was to create a new Bible for
children and adults alike. We did not want to create another
picture book about Jesus that simply regurgitated the usual
stories in the same banal way. Nor did we want paintings
that are overtly inward looking, which is sadly true of
a great deal of contemporary religious art. What we wanted
was to look at the events surrounding the life of Jesus
in a fresh way and without preconceptions. For this reason,
I was lucky enough to be given the freedom to interpret
the selected texts as I chose and develop the ideas both
in individual paintings and across the whole of the project.
I have divided up this series of paintings
into logical groups, as they have been exhibited. Infancy
deals with Jesus childhood; Ministry
with His work including some miracles; Passion
and Glory are the Easter story
and the end of Jesus life. This series is by no means complete.
I have started on another set based on Old Testament Prophets
which should make an appearance some time in 2007/2008.
All told, it took over 2 years to complete
the 24 paintings that are now the basis for a book,
'The life of Jesus through the eyes of an artist'. The internet
is not really the best way to see them, but perhaps you
have made it to one of the beautiful Cathedrals and Churches
which has been hosting the touring exhibition.
This exhibition will continue in to 2006 and 2007.
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