An Ordinary Saint

An Ordinary Saint

The square halo in early Christian art identified a living person presumed to be a saint.
‘An Ordinary Saint’ (Archibald & Blake Prize entry 2011), a portrait of ‘The Archbishop of the Anglican Church Diocese of Sydney, and Metropolitan of the Province of NSW’, is a visual commentary on the priestly and fully human Peter Jensen. As observers we see glimpses of glory, observing him from behind, but he is all too aware of his own ability to see–to see his own weaknesses. The juxtaposition of somber Old Testament-temple palette with playful striped socks hints at his sense of humor. While outspoken, respected, and recognised as a key leader in the Anglican Church worldwide, painted details suggest he is a family man–happily married to Christine, father of 4 and grandfather to 17 (in 2011). It is with this ‘ordinary saint’ I have enjoyed years of friendship and partnership in the Good News of Jesus Christ.

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