Stations of the Cross

The Stations of the Cross

Jesus dies on the Cross:
one of the new Stations at Eastbourne


Beverley Barr, Illustrator
Beverley Barr trained as an artist 1966–1970 at Bath Academy of Art, graduating with an honours degree. During this time, she undertook some commissions, mainly portraits, and painted her first liturgical artwork. Subsequent training was in postgraduate Art History at Birmingham Polytechnic and Chelsea School of Art. Following this, she took an MA in Medieval Studies at London University, and engaged in eleven years of doctoral research in codicology. These courses equipped her with a practical artistic training, knowledge of the physics and chemistry of pigments and their supporting media, a thorough grounding in Art History, theology, symbolism, iconography, and liturgical artwork.

Beverley’s first professional work started while she was still a student at Bath Academy of Art, over 30 years ago. She is a professional artist, and a full member of the Association of Illustrators. She is familiar with making illustrations for church publications of different denominations, and icons for private devotional, and liturgical purposes, as well as portraiture and other artwork, and works to commissions. She has drawn upon all of these skills, and this experience, to produce this new artwork for Christ Church.

What you see is the product of her hands and experience, under God’s direction and inspiration. These fifteen Stations of the Cross are painted in oils on board.

Beverley writes: “From the moment I received the commission, I began a discipline of prayer, meditation and fasting.

“These are not pictures or illustrations in the ordinary sense, they are icons: modern western icons, produced especially for Christ Church. They are unique, but well grounded in tradition and theology, and using Christian iconography through the centuries.

”An icon is a prayer: you ‘read’ the picture and meditate upon it, and in this way you may receive understanding and direction from God, to help you on your faith journey.

“S Francis of Assisi was converted whilst meditating on an Italian icon of the crucifixion (the San Damiano Cross) which all Franciscans revere. In this way an icon can ‘speak’ directly to you. The pictures spoke to me while I was making them. At times I was puzzled about the way they were developing, and needed to stop and meditate or simply wonder at what was going on. It has been a spiritual journey for me, and I am grateful to the priest and people of Christ Church for that.

“This work is designed in memoriam for Father Phillip Fordham, the previous Vicar of Christ Church. His last public act of devotion was leading meditations on the Stations of the Cross. He is remembered as having lingered especially long over the crucifixion, and that is how I have celebrated him, pictorially: meditating in wonder at the foot of the cross.”

On to the stations