Christ in Melbourne 1995,
A Melbourne Passion 2001 & After the Passion 2006
An ongoing project of monoprints that continue to ask the question: What would it be like, how would we act and respond if Jesus’ ministry occurred now, and for the artist, in contemporary Melbourne.
A Melbourne Passion: "Jesus suffering His Passion in contemporary Melbourne? Jesus entering Melbourne in a motorised invalid scooter or weeping over the city from the top of the Westgate Bridge? Jesus addressing the MCG football crowds and holding His Last Supper at a Prahran Pub? Jesus arrested in the Botanical Gardens and Crucified at Chadstone Shopping Centre?
These are some of the possibilities that arise when Michael Donnelly asks what would it be like if Jesus lived in third millenium Melbourne just like us. Who would Jesus be in today’s society? Who would Christ’s friends be now? Who would he associate with? How would he be treated?
This intriguing suite of Monoprints continues the ‘Christ in Melbourne’ series first exhibited in 1995 at St Johns Southgate. (One of those monoprints has been touring the United States as part of an exhibition of contemporary images of Jesus entitled ‘Jesus 2000’). The ‘Christ in Melbourne” Monoprints grew out of a desire to locate the Christ story in the Melbourne Michael Donnelly had grown to love just as the Australian painter Arthur Boyd had done fifty years earlier or Stanley Spencer had done with his beloved Cookham in England.
The nature of monoprinting on a copper plate where you are working with etching ink, brushes, rags and cotton buds in a spontaneous and immediate way demanded quick responses. Hence, these rich black and white prints present a veracity of the moment that nonetheless contain two thousand year old truths. View them for yourself at the St Francis Pastoral Centre gallery space, with the exhibition appropriately timed for the latter half of Lent, the season that leads up to Easter and the period of Jesus’ life that the monoprints examine - his Passion".