Stations of the Cross 2015

19th February - 17th March 2015
St. Marylebone Parish Church Marylebone Road
London, NW1 5LT

NASSER AZAM, PAUL BENNEY, CHARLOTTE BROMLEYDAVENPORT, RYAN CALLAHAN,  
RICARDO CINALLI, CHRIS CLACK,  ANGELICA CAYZER,  MARGUERITE HORNER,  WOLFE LENKIEWICZ,  
CHARLIE MACKESY,  ROBIN MASON, ROBERT PRISEMAN,  NICK REYNOLDS, COSMO SARSON,  
TRISTAN SCHOONRAAD,  BRAN SYMONDSON,  MARK URWIN,  ROBI WALTERS 

From the 19th February Art Below presents an exhibition of 20 artists representations of the Passion of Christ at London's St.Marylebone's Parish Church running until 17th March.  This exhibition has been curated by Ben Moore in support of the Missing Tom Fund which aims to raise awareness around the ongoing search for his brother Thomas Moore who has been missing since 2003. 

An online auction of a life size sculpture of Pete Doherty nailed to a cross titled For Pete's Sake by artists Nick Reynolds and Schoony is open until the 17th March in support of the Missing Tom Fund.  http://paddle8.com/auction/missingtom/
 
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(above) Pete Doherty and Ben Moore. Photography by Sandy SY Lee.  Click here to view video

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Private View Event on Thursday 19th February
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Paul Benney's 'Speaking in Tongues', 2014.
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The subjects of the picture are all friends and contemporaries of the artist, and are depicted as the Apostles with Pentecostal flames hovering above them.  The reflective surface allows the viewer to appear to be part of the group in an extraordinary and thought-provoking way.

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Benney's depiction of light emanating from the head as an animation of the spirit has echoes in the imagery of many different religions such as The Mandoria in Asian art, The Pillar of Fire in Judaism, the Aureole in the sacred art of Ancient Greece, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity, and is a particular fascination for Benney.

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Speaking in Tongues follows on thematically from the major exhibition of Benney's widely publicised show Night Paintings at Somerset House, London, where he is an artist-in-residence.  The work brings together Benney's talents as both a contemporary artist and one of the UK's most celebrated portrait painters.  http://leicestercathedral.org/

Paul Benney and Nick Reynolds
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'For Pete's Sake' A Life Size sculpture by Nick Reynolds and Schoony depicting singer Pete Doherty on a crucifix. 
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For Pete's Sake is suspended horizontally above the knave, with thick nailheads at stigmata positions holding Doherty up on a heavy, perfectly cut cross. It's the first thing you see coming through the door. Unlike the cross, Doherty's form is light, and it actually feels like he's swooping down on you. His figure is pure white, like someone without sin, reinforced by his blank but open eyes, as in so many classical statues. In the sculpture's angle and clarity, it compares with a Salvador Dali masterpiece, Christ of St John of the Cross (1951), now in Kelvingrove, Glasgow. But you don't see the Christ face in Dali's work, and you do with Doherty. His expression is not one of agony or prayer, but rather a slightly troubled and curious look, perhaps not quite understanding what's going on. Unlike the other works, the materiality and colours of For Pete's Sake are entirely compatible with the interior of the 1817 baroque church (designed by Thomas Hardwick). The overall effect is stunning, beautiful, and in Doherty's face, subtle and sad. There's one more crucial detail to come . . .  


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For Pete's Sake may be blasphemy to some, but not, apparently, here. 'No-one's said anything' said St Marylebone's verger, when asked if any outrage had been expressed. 'Not like last year', he added. Last year's Stations of the Cross had a naked woman on a cross and Paul Fryer's black man in an electric chair

Mainly, the UK has long been un-hung up about its Christian icons. When John Lennon sang 'the way things are going, they're gonna crucify me' in 1969, some US radio stations banned the song, but it raised hardly an eyebrow in the UK. It's strange how some Americans can be so touchy about religion, yet fervent about guns. Lennon was shot dead in Manhattan in 1980.

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The UK has other ways of crucifying people, particularly celebrities. The gutter press (tabloid newspapers produced by an opportunistic conspiracy of cads and flesh-mongers) are masters at it. They first pounced on Doherty for apparently chasing the dragon in 2005, and, out for blood, they probed and milked the bizarre twists in his drugs usage for years. His dalliance has involved spells of rehab and jail, but the sheer viciousness of the scrutiny and the headlines may well have been worse. Echoes of these are cut and plastered around Reynolds' cross itself - perhaps referencing Jamie Reid's seminal Sex Pistols artwork - but here there are just capitals in the same headline typeface, saying things like JUNKIE SCUM, WEED TO PENGUINS, ON ?CRACK? or THE BALLAD OF MOSSY AND CRACKHEAD. That last one is a riff on the title of the afore-mentioned Lennon song, and refers to Kate Moss, the iconic superstar model who Doherty almost married.

The British press love a build-'em-up-knock-'em-down strategy when they have someone in their sights, and when the subject seems to be in self-destruct mode, it's like the pizza delivery comes right to their grubby desks. For the British press, Doherty was a dream come true. But you might say Jesus also self-destructed - the confusingly varying Gospels report that he put up no self-defence at his trial. And that raises the question, who is For Pete's Sake all about - Jesus or Doherty?  www.wildculture.com/article/nailing-very-naughty-boy/1488

See also Guardian Review  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/feb/20/what-is-blasphemy-eyes-church-pete-doherty

Independent Review http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/news/pete-doherty-crucified--for-art-10057822.html

Nick Reynolds and The Rev'd Canon Stephen Evans

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Robin Mason's 'Deposition After Rubens' (below)

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In his entire body of work Mason's reference with the past interweaves parallel journeys between the art historic and the personal. A consistent re-imaging of theatrical backdrops and stage-like structures inhabited by amorphic tree and flower forms aligns the work with both surrealism and Northern European medieval images. This stage-like presence is a reflection of childhood performances on the stage, the theatricality of high-church ceremony and the fairground paintings of his early life in Porthcawl.     http://robinmason.net/

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'It was for freedom' by Charlie Mackesy, Oil on a prison door (below) 

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This is an original prison door from Norwich prison 1850 -1970.  This work is about judgement and forgiveness.  With Christ there is no guilt or shame. We are forgiven. Charlie Mackesy

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 'Comrade of the sky' by Wolfe Lienkewicz it contains imagery of Michelangelo Bridget Rilley and Hirst  (below)

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 'Figure xii' by Nasser Azam (below) 
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'Breakdancing Jesus' by Cosmo Sarson (below).
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 'Head of Christ' by Charlie Mackesy 
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 'As it Was in the Beginning' by Ben Moore
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'Desgarro II' by Ricardo Cinalli
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'Tear Drop' by Robi Walters
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 The first Stations of the Cross exhibiton also held at St.Marylebone Parish Church featured artists including Mat Collishaw, Polly Morgan, Paul Fryer, Antony Micallef, Alison Jackson and Sebastian Horsley. Click here to view 'SOC' 2014  

For all sales enquiries and interview requests please contact: info@artbelow.org.uk 

'Figure xii' by Nasser Azam, Collage and Mixed Media on Paper, 28 x 28 inches
'Speaking in Tongues' by Paul Benney, Oil And Pigmented Resin On Wood, 8ft x 12ft
'This is my body' By Charlotte Bromley Davenport, Photographic Print, Framed, Edition of 5, 735 mm x 996 mm
'Long Suffering Trooper' by Ryan Callanan, 2010, Resin, Edition of 25, 35 x 20 cm
'Desgarro II' by Ricardo Cinalli, Acrylic box with 3 layers, oil and broken glass, 76 x 60 x 30cm
'Dascent with gerbera' by Chris Clack, Photographic Print, Edition of 5, 126cm x 90cm
'Crown of Thornes' by Marguerite Horner, Oil On Linen, 50x50cm
'Comrade of the sky' by Wolfe Lienkewicz, Charcoal on canvas, 10 ft by 12 ft
'It was for freedom' by Charlie Mackesy, Oil on a prison door (circa 1900 Norwich), 27 x 111 x 3 inches
'Head of Christ' by Charlie Mackesy, Sculpture, 30cm x 30cm
'No Human Way to Kill' - Electric Chair by Robert Priseman, Limited edition gyclee print of 40, Framed A1 SIZE
'Breakdancing Jesus - The Salute' by Cosmo Sarson, Oil on board, 86 cm x 122 cm
'St. Jude Thaddeus', 2012 by Paul Benney, Oil and Resin on Wood, 48 x 24 inches
'The Last Supper' by Mark Urwin, Framed Print
'Tear Drop' by Robi Walters, Recycled card, White spray, Glue and Plywood, 60" h x 47" w
'For Pete's Sake' by Nick Reynolds and Schoony, 8 foot by 7 foot by foot, Fibre glass with marble finish, nailed onto wooden cross.
'Deposition after Rubens' by Robin Mason, 2015 Pigmented Acrylic Gesso, Oil on Canvas 240cm x 180cm
'As it was in the beginning' by Ben Moore, 2014, Oil on Canvas, 100cm x 150cm