Cultural elements that may have hints of racist history or context is being rectified for political correctness, and St.Albans Cathedral is no exception to the changes brought on by the Black Lives Matter protests. The Anglican church’s dean has agreed to put forth the artwork of the recreation of the famous Last Supper, drawn by the revisionist artist Lorna May Wadsworth.
In the picture, Jesus Christ, usually depicted as a bearded Caucasian blond-to-brown haired male, is depicted as being African in all looks.
The historic church’s landmark decision came within the week’s radius of the declaration made by the Archbishop of Canterbury spoken to all Church of England’s parishioners to reconsider the fixated portrayal of His images in racial stereotypes created by the unilateral depiction of him being white. The Archbishop, Justin Welby said Christians must be ready to accept these racially diverse representation.
Lorna May Wadsworth instead paints Christ as Jamaican-born model Tafari Hinds, which she claims is just as accurate as traditional representations. The acclaimed artist’s 2009 piece made headlines last year when it was discovered to have been shot by a pellet gun by someone she believed disagreed by her portrayal of Christ. Yet undeterred by this brazen act of vandalism, St Albans is putting the painting pride of place to show solidarity with Black Lives Matter.
The Very Reverend Dr Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans, said: ‘The church is not in a strong position to preach to others about justice, racial or otherwise.
But our faith teaches that we are all made equally in the image of God, and that God is a God of justice.Black Lives Matter, so this is why we have turned our Altar of the Persecuted into a space for reflection and prayer with Lorna’s altarpiece at the heart.
Wadsworth said: ‘Painting the Last Supper altarpiece made me really think about how we are accustomed to seeing Jesus portrayed.
Experts agree he would most likely have had Middle Eastern features, yet for centuries European artists have traditionally painted Christ in their own image.I cast Jamaican-born model, Tafari Hinds, as my Jesus to make people question the Western myth that he had fair hair and blue eyes.
My portrayal of him is just as ‘accurate’ as the received idea that he looked like a Florentine.I also knew that, from a previous portrait of Tafari, there is something in his countenance that people find deeply empathetic and moving, which is the overriding quality I wanted my Christ to embody.
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