Saturday, 6 September 2014

St Paul's Churchyard EC4

Becket depicts the Archbishop in the agony of death, his right hand extended as if to ward off the blows of his knightly assassins. The plinth is stepped to recall the steps into the choir of Canterbury Cathedral.
This memorable image was created in 1970 as part of the commemorations of the saint's martyrdom by Bainbridge Copnall, who was living near Canterbury at the time. It is rather unclear why it was not bought for Canterbury but ended up next to St Pauls in 1973.
The material looks like bronze but is in fact resin coloured to look like bronze, a process pioneered by Copnall himself.
Unfortunately, the weakness of the material was exposed in the hurricane of 1987 when a cherry tree fell on it and did considerable damage. Luckily, a former student of Copnall's, Patrick Crouch, was able to restore it.