The Times on 14th March published an article, Parish strikes back against crucified stormtrooper art, stating that some parishioners had objected to this piece and, as a consequence, "Church leaders have opted to move the stormtrooper out of sight of praying parishioners. In an alcove far, far away".
So, we went to have a look.
Here's the full story from The Times.
Beware the force of the parishioners — especially if they think you are turning a church to the dark side.
An art installation featuring a Star Wars stormtrooper being crucified was at the centre of controversy yesterday after parishioners objected to its presence as they prayed in their Christopher Wren-designed church.
The stormtrooper had been installed with other Crucifixion-themed artworks as part of Art Below’s exhibition Stations of the Cross.
The deacon at St Stephen Walbrook in the City of London had given permission for the exhibition. Jonathan Evens, the previous priest, had been supportive, saying it was “designed to provoke thought from artists grappling with their response to the challenge and scandal of Christ’s Cross”.
He added: “For me this image raises similar questions to those CS Lewis raised in his science fiction trilogy, ie that were other artists to exist on other planets, would Christ be incarnated among those races in order to die for their salvation? Lewis’s view, which he sets out in the story, is that Christ would do so.”
Not everyone bought the argument, however. “It’s plainly offensive to Christians, to be honest,” one parishioner said.
“The Star Wars character was a bit weird,” Francis McKenna, another worshipper at the Anglican church, said. “I didn’t care for it that much.”
The Stormtrooper, by Ryan Callanan, was exhibited alongside a pastel drawing by Francis Bacon and other works as part of the exhibition that runs until March 23.
Ben Moore, its curator, said that the church had also debated about whether to remove some of the other artworks that featured nudity.
Mr Moore organises the exhibitions to raise money to search for his brother, Thomas, who disappeared in 2003. Stations of the Cross was shown in Marylebone Parish Church in 2015. “My intention is not to be blasphemous or disrespectful to Christianity and the church,” he said. “I think these works are raising interesting questions and debate. I have pondered on the Crucifixion piece and I do think it has resonance with the story of the Crucifixion.” He added that Star Wars films dealt with redemption.
Church leaders have opted to move the stormtrooper out of sight of praying parishioners. In an alcove far, far away. The Times
The other pieces in the exhibition are shown on the next page.
Exterior, Altar and Interior
The church is well worth a visit in itself, yards from Cannon Street station and surrounded by more typical manifestations of the City of London. It claims to be, "the only church designed by Wren in 1672 and … his prototype for the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral. It was the first classical dome to be built in England at the time."
It centrepiece is the altar, "by Henry Moore commissioned by Lord Palumbo for the church during it’s restoration in 1978. It was carved in 1972". The interior of the dome was photographed on 5th April 2018, an iPhone7+ panorama.
The label was found and photographed on a subsequent visit, 5Apr18. Passing again on 4th August, it had some water in it, image 4. Quote from Londonist
London was probably founded on this spot two millennia ago. The Romans built their city on the hills of Ludgate and Cornhill, which are separated by the valley of the River Walbrook. That river still flows under the site as part of the sewer system. Indeed, we got to see its ancient course during the excavations.
It would be inadvisable to expose a functioning sewer. Instead, the developers have done the next best thing and installed a fake river — a trio of sculptural fountains by Spanish artist Cristina Iglesias.
These are actually rather good. Each is lined with painted bronze tendrils and plant matter. The suggestion is not only of a river, but also of wellsprings and roots — a fitting theme for this earliest part of London. They look particularly good at night. londonist.com