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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Barbed wire crucifixion sculpture on display at Lanercost Priory

A life-size interpretation of the Crucifixion has moved from outside Carlisle Cathedral to Lanercost Priory.

Crucifixion statue photo
Ian McMean with the Crucifixion statue

The sculpture designed by artist Ian McMean now stands in the place of an old sycamore tree.

The sycamore was to be felled because it was encroaching on a neighbouring development and was also said to be dangerous.

Mr McMean, who lives at Broadwath, near Brampton, said: “The sculpture attracted a lot of interest when it was at the cathedral at Easter time.

“Mike Farley from Lanercost tea rooms asked if he could exhibit it outside his cafe and gallery but in the end it was deemed more appropriate for it go to on display on The Garth in the grounds of the Priory.

“I have had a lot of phone calls since it went up there and emails too, including some from America.

“It seems fitting to put a cross on the site of the old sycamore tree.”

Mr McMean, 71, set out to make his £4,000 sculpture a stark reminder of the horrors of crucifixion, rather than a romantic effigy.

He said: “I want people to think about man’s inhumanity to man. In reality what happened is that some poor fella [Jesus] got nailed to a cross.

“He was probably about 6ft tall and weighed about 12 to 13 stone. He would have gone through an enormous amount of pain.”

The cross is made from oak and the sculpture is iron with barbed wire for a head.

Mr McMean said: “The metal is rough and a heavy substance to convey the weight of the body. Barbed wire is a nasty thing and illustrates the pain he endured.”

Crucifixion is on semi-permanent loan to the Priory. Mr McMean is best known for his landscape paintings. He will have an exhibition at the Gallery at Lanercost from September 20. It will cover Faith, Life and the Evolution of Life starting from Northern Kenya, Lake Turkana and The Cradle of Mankind.

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