Stanley Spencer's The Resurrection, Cookham has been given a face- lift and a whole new lease of life by a school on the Isle of Dogs
Friday 12 May 1995
The picture is a tangible expression of the artist's faith and one of the most memorable images of 20th-century British art. It took Spencer four years to paint, but in a somewhat shorter time, the students of George Green School, Isle of Dogs, have transformed his vision into something quite different.
During their autumn term last year a small group of students from the school, whose GCSE year had been using the Tate's collection to gain a greater understanding of art and cultural identity, concentrated specifically on Spencer's picture. Using photomontage and computer technology, they created the extraordinary image currently on display at the Tate Gallery called Awakenings (left).
Now, in place of the Berkshire countryside, we have Docklands, complete with the Light Railway and the looming mass of Canary Wharf. The church has been replaced by the school and along its wall, in place of the chosen, sit a parade of popular heroes including Bob Marley, footballers and feminists. On an armchair in the pictorial centre, sits a man, presumably a master, cradling two of Spencer's self-portraits. And behind him, the ghost at the feast, is the brooding presence of the painter himself. What would he have made of it? And, more importantly, what did the students make of it? Whatever they gained, it was obviously a fascinating exercise and it makes a nice contrast with the cosy, confident 1920s calm of the original. Stanley must be turning in his grave.
'Awakenings' at the Tate Gallery, Millbank, SW1 (0171-887 8000) Opening hours, Mon-Sat 10am-5.50pm, Sun 2-5.50pm, free. Pimlico
To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthdaybooks
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Amy Winehouse statue unveiled in Camden
- 2 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 3 George Galloway on Scottish independence: The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
- 4 Headaches, fry ups, and hair of the dog - why do we get hangovers, and is there such thing as a 'cure'?
- 5 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained in Los Angeles after being mistaken for a prostitute
George Galloway on Scottish independence: The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Scottish independence: Britain faces 'constitutional crisis' at next election
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly