Dumfrieshire Artist’s Work Goes On Display In Edinburgh Cathedral

Local Artist’s beautiful life sized busts of Jesus and the twelve apostles reflects Christian message that the broken can be made whole

Life-sized busts of Jesus and the apostles, created from crockery fragments joined together in gold, are on display on the High Altar of Edinburgh’s Episcopalian cathedral.

The Last Supper, by multi-disciplinary artist Silvy Weatherall from Irongray in Dumfries and Galloway, is a sculptural interpretation of Leonardo Da Vinci’s iconic painting of the same name.

Silvy has a fascination with seeing new possibilities in the obsolete, the unwanted, the lost and the forgotten.

The figures are all in simplified form (partly inspired by the phrenology busts that were influential in 19th-century psychiatry) and she has deliberately avoided defining features or characteristics on most of the figures – except for Jesus, John (set to his right) and Judas.

Silvy said:The idea began some years ago after my studio was flooded by rain and I rediscovered some broken crockery in boxes and wondered about the final meals that might have been eaten on them.
“I then began thinking about the Last Supper, and ideas about how people can be broken by events as they go through life and also how they can be remade in new forms.”

After coming up with the idea of creating busts representing Jesus and the apostles, Silvy asked friends and neighbours for donations of broken crockery. She then created the figures using the ancient Japanese art of Kintsugi (meaning “to repair with gold”).

She is also capturing another Japanese idea – of rejoicing in cracks and imperfections.

“After all,” she says “it’s our ‘imperfections’ that make us unique”
Reverend Marion Chatterley, Canon and Vice Provost of St Mary’s Cathedral in Palmerston Place, Edinburgh, said:When Silvy first showed me the sculptures I was absolutely blown away by them. And the public response to them since they have gone on display has been wonderful.
“They say so much about the nature of human life about healing and forming, and about the nature of the Eucharist – Christ’s broken body making us whole again.”

Last Supper is at the cathedral until 31 August. The cathedral is open to visitors from 8am to 6pm daily. Visitors are asked to avoid 8am, 10.30am and 3.30pm on Sundays, when services are taking place – though anyone wishing to join the congregation is most welcome.

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