Transfigured Christ

Christ 01

In the 2011 I was approached by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster to design a statue of Transfigured Christ for St James’s Church in Spanish Place, Marylebone, London. The church is listed as Grade 2, one star.

I started my research and gathered much visual information as possible, then came up with a design (below)

Christ 02

After a lengthy process it was approved and I ordered a one ton block of finest Portland basebed limestone and set to work by squaring up in scale from the drawing onto the stone and removing the waste.

Christ 03

This was a lengthy process and a big challenge. Although I had carved faces and hands I had never carved a whole statue.

Christ 04

This is a later stage where I’ve peeled back the layers to reveal the face. It’s still quite rough but it is clearly emerging from the stone.

Christ 05

This is towards the end where the features are now quite clearly defined. Hands and garment are clearly distinguished. The hands still look a little glove-like so they need some work!

Christ 06

Pretty much finished apart from the feet.

Christ 07

Some of the best artists can’t do feet. I don’t put myself even in the category of artist, but I think mine turned out pretty well. I studied feet for a while – the subtle in-turn of the big toe, the way the rest curl inwards and downwards. I think I became slightly obsessed for a short while!

Christ 10

And here is the Transfigured Christ in situ. We had 4 days to install it which involved trimming approximately 1 ton of stone off the existing quatrefoil, lifting the half-ton statue and fixing it securely.

Christ 12

Another view from across the road.

Christ 13

Useful Links

St James’s Church, Marylebone

An article on Albion Stone’s website about my figure

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Geraint Davies was commissioned to design and carve a roundel to fill a vacant place above the main entrance porch to Saint James’s Church, Spanish Place. As a listed building of some merit and  one of particular interest in the Catholic history of London this was a sensitive task which Geraint executed with great patience and skill. I was impressed by the amount of time and care taken in preparing both the plans and the material for what has turned out to be a splendid addition to the visual impact of the church. Now that it is lit at night the roundel of the glorified Christ attracts much interest and is becoming a noteworthy (and sympathetic) part of the Marylebone architectural scene.
Father Christopher ColvenMarylebone, London