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
“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
“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