Saturday, April 26, 2014

Jesus Christ Superstar

Confirmation season has come and gone again.
Where are the years going to???
One of the hardest jobs for a Confirmation teacher is producing a display poster for the church. As my school, Baconstown, is small we have very limited storage space. As a result I had to dispose of my poster after each ceremony, and produce a new one the following year.
In 2011 I came up with a brilliant idea. My artistically talented nephew Niall was in Secondary school and always on the look out for a way of making a few euro. I "commissioned" him to paint Jesus and the Holy Spirit on large hinged sheets of wood. These can be folded up and stored in a small area.


And so it was that in 2014 I could still take it out, dust it off, put on the photos of this year's Confirmation class and Hey Presto.......no work on my part!!!

By now, Niall is a second year student in the Limerick School of Art and Design. Coincidentally at the same time as my Confirmation ceremony was on this year, these second year students were putting on an exhibition in The Hunt Museum in Limerick. Each student had to produce a piece inspired by the Museum, either by a piece of art on display or by the building and environs itself.
This is what Niall had to say about his work.

Playing God

With my piece I attempted to re-contextualise a religious triptych from The Hunt Museum using celebrity culture.
Much like the religious figures in the original painting, modern celebrities gain their status and power from the public who follow them- because without us to follow them, their fame and power does not exist.
In the same way that we have the power to create their persona and set them up on a pedestal, we also feel that we hold the right to pass judgement on them, to humiliate them and drive them to the point of insanity with our critical views on their lives. We track them, know their net worth, their taste in furniture, the absurd names of their pets and children. We are let down by their moral failings and crucify them for their wrongs. And we do this from behind a screen, answerable to nobody.
I have carefully chosen each celebrity to replace/mirror a counterpart in the original painting. Their circumstances and worlds may be far apart, but they are all suffering a similar fate brought about by their notoriety, and a lack of remorse from the public who made them what they are today.
Brilliant concept and execution.
I'd like to take a bit of the credit. After all I think the seed for this idea was sown all those years ago with his painting of Jesus.
Does it not bear more than a passing resemblance to Jared Leto???


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