Personal Jesus

“Your own, personal, Jesus.
Someone to hear your prayers,
Someone who cares.
Your own, personal, Jesus.
Someone to hear your prayers,
Someone who’s there.”
 
From “Personal Jesus” by Depeche Mode.
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I’ve learned about a really exciting project in recent weeks.  The National Portrait Gallery of Scotland will be hosting an exhibition later this year entitled Rough Cut Nation.  You can get the lowdown at www.roughcutnation.co.uk
This unique multimedia project draws together a group of young artists from around Scotland to create a dramatic collaborative installation. Rough Cut Nation will feature artwork and designs from Elph, Fraser Gray, Kirsty Whiten, Mike Inglis, Peter Martin, Jason Nelson, DUFI, Machism, Paco, Jo Basford, Janie Nicoll and Skint. The project will also feature artwork produced by young people working with Rough Cut artists on offsite projects. For the Edinburgh Festival they will construct a remixed version of Scottish history as informed by street art and graffiti culture, painted, pasted and projected directly onto the walls of the Portrait Gallery.

The project updates William Hole’s original decorative mural scheme of 1889-1898, depicting important events from Scotland’s past. This new installation exploits the empty space produced by the Gallery’s current closure for redevelopment.

The original mural by William Hole’s portrays elements of Scottish history with strong religious and at times Protestant overtones. 

As one of the artist duos involved, DUFI, are interested in exploring religious iconography and the use of Jesus as moral or social catalyst both within Scottish history and contemporary culture.   

With that in mind they would like to ask three questions: 
1)  In one word, describe who was/is Jesus?
2)  In one word, what does Jesus have to do with Scottish History?
3)  What impact has Jesus had on Scotland past, present and future?
The answers that DUFI collect from these questions will potentially form part of the final artwork, but will not be attributed to any one individual.
That is so cool.  So many of the great pieces of art that adorn gallery walls are full of religious imagery.  Whilst much of it is appreciated for its great craftsmanship – how much of it connects with us or grabs our attention?  Things that were deemed blasphamous or shocking in centuries past are often lost on us today.  Maybe it’s time to re-paint a modern image of who we think Jesus is or was?  I don’t mean just trite cliches, but who or what do we think of Jesus in the context of these questions?  How would our friends, colleagues and neighbours think about them?  This project has so much potential for us to see Jesus in a new and relevant and honest way. 
Can I commend this project to you?  Please send your answers to DUFI.JESUS@GMAIL.COM  or alternatively reply online www.dufi-art.blogspot.com
Peace.
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"The priest in the booth had a photographic memory for all he had heard. He took all of my sins and he wrote a pocket novel called "The State That I'm In"". From "The State I Am In" by Belle and Sebastian
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