Artists’ work aids St Alban’s Church
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.