The College commissioned Staff Member and Artist, Mr Silvio Mannello to paint two contemporary pieces of Religious Art.
Painting #1: Jesus
The College wanted an image of Jesus that was inviting and hospitable, and one which students could easily connect with when they looked upon it.
Painting #2: Joseph the Carpenter and the boy Jesus
St Mary of the Cross MacKillop had a great devotion to St Joseph, the husband of Mary. She admired his faithfulness, humility and steadiness. The College wanted a representation of Joseph that honored his place in the life of Mary MacKillop, and highlighted his role as teacher and parent to Jesus
The Artist’s Statements: Mr Silvio Mannello
‘Jesus at the Sea of Galilee’
I was approached by the college with the commission of coming up with a design for an image that would portray a likeness of Christ unique to our school and its community. The explicit brief was that the face of Jesus was to be warm, inviting and something that didn’t fit the normal formula of Jesus portraits of the past. In my painting I place Christ in an important setting which is on the banks of the Sea of Galilee. A place where he lived and worked and is such a crucial part of his ministry. His human quality is front and centre for all to see and his eyes are an entry point for the viewer to engage in his humility and calmness. The positive feedback I have received from this painting has been overwhelming and I hope the MacKillop community continue to enjoy it for years to come.
‘St Joseph Teaching Jesus’
Many images have been created over the years that have portrayed St Joseph with his son, Jesus. I tried so hard to make sure that MacKillop received something unique and special to grace its walls. Technique wise, it was one of the more challenging pieces I have created. This is due to the complexity of the image and the nature of the medium that I worked in, which was oil paint. My brief was to show a young Jesus being taught carpentry by his father. The basis of the design comes from a promotional image that was taken of myself in my first year of teaching. This photo had me gesturing to a young year 10 student in a wood work class. The young Christ’s eyes are fixated on Joseph’s hands as they guide and instruct him. St Joseph is such a crucial figure in Jesus’ early years and an important mentor whose massive impact cannot be underestimated. This is why he was such a central figure to the life of Mary MacKillop and all of the Sisters of St Joseph. The visual message in this piece highlights the significant roles of both the teacher and the student within our college. May St Joseph guide us all.