DR ROBERT TRAVERS and Rupert Otten have had the intriguing idea
of setting well-known works (Graham Sutherland, Patrick Heron, Ceri
Richards - that haunting sketch for his Oxford Supper at
Emmaus - and the 1922 William Roberts Crucifixion)
from the growing Methodist Art Collection alongside contemporary
reflections on the theme of Lent, Holy Week, and Easter.
The Londoner Greg Tricker needs little introduction. He was
taken up by Sister Wendy Beckett a couple of years back when
The Christ Journey, a touring exhibition, marked his 60th
birthday. His figurative painting is broadly narrative. Last year,
he showed a series of holy men and women at Salisbury Cathedral. In
April, he and Joan of Arc go to Rheims Cathedral.
His bold images are hedged about by black lines, much as
favoured by Georges Rouault, but have about them an almost febrile
quality. In Magdalene - The Grieving (2009), the
brokenness of the subject might itself break afresh as the woman
gazes abstractedly into the distance, her eyes brimming.
The more recent Magdalene is composed of etched and
fired antique glass; here, Mary is so relaxed in her contemplation
that at first I mistook her for a St Clare or Catherine. But her
eyes are beseeching and glazed in wonderment. The truth of
resurrection is to encounter abandonment; we are always left
His most recent piece, I am the Resurrection and the
Life, is painted on the back of a large wooden door, with its
rusting iron bolt and hinge still much in place. It subtly invokes
Revelation 3.20, and introduces the Johannine accounts of the
Feeding. Behind the large gold-haired and gilded face of Christ, a
cerulean boat nudges its way across the sea of Tiberias, while
beside Jesus there is a basket of loaves. Both details owe much to
Cézanne as Picasso understood him.
The Australian Roy de Maistre (1894-1968) came to London in
1938. His Noli me tangere (1951/52) again reminded me how
the war-time bombing scarred painters, drenching their canvases in
burning reds and orange. In contrast, the intersecting lozenges and
triangles of his icon-like Crucifixion (for sale) blaze in
gold, much as Helen McIldowie-Jenkins introduces in her icon of
Christ on a Y-shaped cross in Love Hanging on a Tree.
In 2010, Canon Robert Wright took early retirement from
Westminster Abbey, in part to spend more time painting. If the two
abstract works (with allusive titles, from John 20.31 and Professor
Elizabeth Johnson) are anything to go by, he should have turned to
painting much earlier. On the other side of the fence, Mark Cazalet
is not ordained, but, in view of his three pictures of a Suffolk
spinney painted at the 2010 Triduum, he needs to be reminded only
that Easter Saturday falls a week after the
The Herefordshire artist Richard Bavin, who has often painted
trees, works watercolour upon watercolour to establish a deep and
inviting emptiness in The Empty Tomb, a piece that I
understand will now be publicly owned. Deo gratias.
"Risen! Art of the Crucifixion and Eastertide" is at Piano
Nobile, 129 Portland Road, London W11, Tuesday to Fridays, 11 a.m.
to 5 p.m., and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., extended to 12 March.
Phone 0207 229 1099.
The exhibition transfers from 23 March to Monnow Valley
Arts, Middle Hunt House, Walterstone, Herefordshire HR2 0DY, and
will be open there until 21 April, daily, except Mondays and
Tuesdays. Phone 01873 860529.