Seeing with fresh eyes

Black Lives Matter
– a prayer installation at St Albans Cathedral that makes us think again...

A Last Supper | Lorna May Wadsworth

Quotation from the Cathedral website:

We are deeply grateful to the artist Lorna May Wadsworth who has given permission for us to use her striking painting of A Last Supper as part of a prayer installation in the North Transept. In the painting Jesus is a black man, and so calls us to ‘look with fresh eyes at something you think you know’.

At St Albans Cathedral we stand with the Black Lives Matter movement to be allies for change – building a strong, just and fair community where the dignity of every human being is honoured and celebrated; where black voices are heard, and where black lives matter.

Lorna May Wadsworth explained: 

“Painting the Last Supper altarpiece made me really think about how we are accustomed to seeing Jesus portrayed. Experts agree he would most likely have had Middle Eastern features, yet for centuries European artists have traditionally painted Christ in their own image. I cast Jamaican-born model, Tafari Hinds, as my Jesus to make people question the Western myth that he had fair hair and blue eyes. My portrayal of him is just as ‘accurate’ as the received idea that he looked like a Florentine. I also knew that, from a previous portrait of Tafari, there is something in his countenance that people find deeply empathetic and moving, which is the overriding quality I wanted my Christ to embody.” 

The installation can be seen at the Altar of the Persecuted in the North Transept until 31st October 2020

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