I am not a particularly religious person. As a teenager I decided that I probably wasn’t going to be struck down by an unseen deity. I also realised that there was – and is – a rich relationship between religion and religious institutions and creative endeavours. I have this great aesthetic appreciation of religious art and music and narratives even though I don’t approach them with the devotion a true believer might.
Although I am publishing this image at the tail end of the Christian Easter calendar I am not particularly concerned with the figure of Jesus. That isn’t who is depicted here. I am much more interested in the nature of suffering and persecution. At the time of painting this image I had been watching For The Bible Tells Me So a documentary about families with a gay child within Christian contexts. This affected me quite a lot.
Stylistically I did a couple of things with this image that I hadn’t done before. Firstly I actually took a ruler and pencil and measured out the dimensions of the canvas board and drew up the boxes that become the cross and background. I adopted a water point colour style with the acrylic paints (diluting the paints with considerable amounts of water). It was great to really play with transparency of the diluted paints and using coloured washes.