Ecce Homo by Mark Wallinger
In collaboration with Amnesty International (AI), St Paul’s Cathedral had Turner Prize winner Mark Wallinger’s statue “Ecce Homo” installed on their steps from 11 April until 22 May 2017. “Ecce Homo” was the first sculpture to appear on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square in 1999. The statue represents a modern Christ, hands bound behind his back and wearing a crown of barbed wire, as he awaits judgement. The story of Jesus Christ – an oppressed individual targeted for their beliefs – still resonates around the world today and is representative of the type of cases that AI work on today. As Reverend Canon Mark Oakley, Chancellor of St Paul's, says:
"it is a work that unapologetically celebrates human dignity which, though vulnerable, is non-negotiable and therefore needs protecting."
Martyrs by Bill Viola
The video installation“Martyrs” made of four plasma screens located in the South Choir of St Paul’s Cathedral was created by American artist Bill Viola and Kira Perov. It brings together art, faith and resilience. The theme is martyrdom for deep-seated beliefs, with the physical suffering of the body made dramatically evident through the cardinal elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water). The 7-minute-long-video shows a powerful journey through pain and courage in an internal space from inside the person. Starting with a situation of death the four characters are touched by something internally and they start to push and fight against the element and they are not giving up. It’s not a passive resignation to the inevitable fate. It is the recognition that something that is causing suffering in that moment will eventually blossom into something extraordinary. Opened in May 2014, Martyrs has been the first permanent installation of a video work in a cathedral or church in Britain.
Find out more on the St Paul's Cathedral website.