Artists’ work aids St Al­ban’s Church

Central Leader - - NEWS - By JENNY LING

Two Auck­land artists are help­ing a Bal­moral church through their art.

Patrick Mer­rick and Derek McCormack have cre­ated a se­ries of paint­ings de­pict­ing Christ’s jour­ney from his ar­rest to cru­ci­fix­ion, known as The Sta­tions of the Cross, for an ex­hi­bi­tion at St Al­bans Church called Via Dolorosa.

Their paint­ings will be sold in a silent auc­tion over the next seven weeks, and pro­ceeds will go to­wards a $350,000 restora­tion project.

St Al­ban’s par­ish priest Fa­ther Philip Sal­lis says the money is needed to re­store the west wall at the back of the his­toric church.

The price-tag in­cludes work to take the main wall out and re­place the win­dow, strengthen sur­round­ing walls and add more beams, he says.

The Bal­moral church is grate­ful for the artists’ help.

‘‘I think it’s in­spired,’’ Mr Sal­lis says. ‘‘People will be im­pressed.

‘‘Some people might be a bit shocked be­cause some of it’s very stark.

‘‘Their in­sight into each one of the steps on the way are quite mov­ing.’’

The orig­i­nal wooden part of the church was built in 1846 and is named Sel­wyn church af­ter Bishop Sel­wyn, the first bishop in New Zealand.

In the early 1900s it was moved back from the road, and a brick ro­manesquestyle build­ing was added.

The artists have cre­ated 14 paint­ings for each stage of Je­sus’ jour­ney, from be­ing tried and con­victed then led to the place of his ex­e­cu­tion along a road named Via Dolorosa, the way of grief.

Mr Mer­rick’s paint­ings are clas­si­cal re­nais­sance style which con­trasts with Mr McCormack’s con­tem­po­rary de­signs. Mr McCormack’s work is in­flu­enced by New Zealand artists Colin McCa­hon and Ralph Hotere .

The pair dis­cov­ered they were both work­ing on the Sta­tions of the Cross last De­cem­ber. ‘‘We were talk­ing one day at a cafe and he showed me what he was do­ing and I showed him the one I’d done,’’ Mr McCormack says.

‘‘This has been quite an in­ter­est­ing ex­pe­ri­ence try­ing to bring to fruition sev­eral works that fit into this tra­di­tional se­ries of art and con­tem­pla­tion.

In­spired art: Par­ish priest fa­ther Philip Sal­lis of St Al­ban’s Church on Do­min­ion Rd. The church is hold­ing an art ex­hi­bi­tion to raise funds for the church restora­tion.

Pow­er­ful im­age: A paint­ing by Patrick Mer­rick.

Con­tem­po­rary style: A paint­ing by Derek McCormack.

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