The Saint John’s Bible Student Exhibition Artwork: week 4 winner

June 17, 2014 – 1:22 pm

This week’s winner is Laura Caruso for her powerful artwork, The Agony of the Cross.

1. Can you tell us a little bit about your artwork?
My work focuses on the brutalisation and abuse taken by Jesus before his Crucifixion, descriptions explain him being “struck in the face” and swelling of the face from “severe beatings”. I believe that representation of violence in the media makes us as a society so desensitised to these issues. I wanted to place these wounds in a contemporary setting by personalising the subject and confront the audience in a different way.

photo of Laura Caruso with her painting - The Agony of the Cross

Laura Caruso with her painting – The Agony of the Cross

2. How did The Saint John’s Bible inspire you to create this work?
The aesthetics of The Saint John’s Bible were amazing! The imagery used within the pages was particularly inspiring especially the way they corrected their mistakes by the use of small beautiful images.
2a) Were you inspired by a particular bible passage?
Mark 15: 16 – 32.
2b) If yes, what was special about this passage?
The Crucifixion and dehumanisation of Jesus.
2c) Did the style of the artworks in any part of the Saint John’s Bible influence the style you have chosen?
The attention to detail and the effortless way mistakes were corrected was something that I tried to implement into my work; however my work strives to use a more naturalistic style to explore the idea of violence in a modern context.

3. So, what’s your creative process like? Do you have a special painting ritual?
Generally I start with a whole lot of visual research in order to solidify an idea I have and then I do my best to create a cohesive work using the different inspirations I’ve taken from my research.

4. Who’s your favourite artist? If you could ask them one question what would it be?
Jenny Saville. I would ask her: how long did it take you to perfect your medium and how?

5. What advice would you give a painter who is struggling with their artwork?
Keep trying! Try experimenting with different styles and mediums; I would’ve never known what I could achieve with painting if I hadn’t taken this course. Find stuff that you’re passionate about, that inspires you and try to recreate it and channel it in your work.

What is this all about?

How does the Bible speak to you? First-year visual arts students were invited to view The Historical Books volume of The Saint John’s Bible. They were then issued with a challenge to create a contemporary painting inspired by the text and illustrations contained in the work. 110 paintings were produced. 40 were displayed in the Strathfield Campus Library.

Five of the best artworks were then selected to win prizes by a panel of University staff including: Dr Dermot Nestor (Head of School, Theology), Ms Jeannette Siebols (Senior Lecturer, Visual Arts), Ms Monica Wondracz (Manager, Coop Bookshop), Medwenna Buckland (Liaison Librarian, Theology) and Maria El-Chami (Liaison Librarian – Arts). The standard of artworks was very high. The ACU Library would like to thank all students who participated in the exhibition for their contribution. Over the next few weeks, we will showcase interviews with the winning artists.

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