08: G. Calvert



The film ‘Calvary’ (2014, written and directed by John Michael McDonagh) enabled me to envisage the Stations. It is not part of my direct heritage.

My image evolved from considering the Stations as a moral meditation with visual references: the three falls; the meetings; the onward journey; who is met on the way; could it be seen as meeting the best or most significant in those that are often viewed as the least important; an inevitable relentless trajectory; the course of persistent poverty in all aspects.

I use large figures to make visible difficult people, dramatic situations, trying to make coherence. The justification for my voyeuristic gaze might be the progress of the youth I used to work with. I reviewed paintings and photographs taken from youth projects. Also, from exhibitions/events where I used film, projections of paintings with live figures, paintings onto film, to exploit scale, movement and repetition to try to make paintings as powerful as film.

I mixed painted and filmic imagery within a panel, using individual elements as a pallette, layer on layer, leaving the labels on, to portray the journey. Background and foreground, dark and light, pulling focus, including shots from ‘Twilight Portrait’ (2011, directed by Angelina Nikonova) which challenges archetypes with a strong morality and much stumbling.

It’s hard to know when or where to stop; is resonance suspect? overlaid with myth? This potent imagery – inspiring pilgrimages, relics, an instrument for change and transformation – has been utilised to provide alms, solace …revenue. And, overwhelmingly to assign roles, inspire/exploit identities, from which it is difficult to escape.

riversideartistsgroup.com/artists/G.Calvert  |  @g.calvert.images