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Ten Modern Martyrs, Westminster Abbey

Ten Modern Martyrs

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The West Facade of Westminster Abbey following a lengthy cleaning and restoration programme , completed in 1986.
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1:5 scale models. I designed the whole scheme on a small scale for approval by the client committee, before producing more detailed models at 1/2 life size.
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First 1:2 scale model of Lucien Tapiedi, the Papua New Guinean martyr.
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Second 1:2 scale model of Lucien Tapiedi, after a late change in the design specification.
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1:2 scale model of Maximilian Kolbe, the Franciscan martyr who died at Auschwitz.
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1:2 scale model of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Lutheran Pastor who was part of the German opposition to Hitler.
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1:2 scale model of Dr Martin Luther King, dressed in his robes as a Baptist Minister.
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Life size portrait study of Dr King, taken from photographic research.
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Life size portrait of Maximilian Kolbe in plaster, with 'Gothic style' beard.
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Installing the statue of Wang Zhiming. All 10 statues were installed in a single day, which needed meticulous planning.
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Oscar Romero (foreground) and Dietrich Bohoeffer, from the scaffold.
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From left to right: Maximilian Kolbe, Manche Masemola and Janani Luwum.
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Dr Martin Luther King in his role as a Baptist Minister.
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Detail of the figure of a young girl, seated below the figure of Dr King.
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Completed statues from the ground. Note the close relationship of figure to niche.
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Detail of the portrait of Manche Masemola, carved by John Roberts (see carvers section).
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The centre four statues, designed as a group, flanked to either side by groups of three.
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The statues were unveiled by the Queen, in a major ceremony attended by Anglican clergy from all over the world.
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The West Porch filled with statues, as originally intended in the medieval period.
Description of Project

The project to fill the empty niches of the West Porch of Westminster Abbey was both a demanding and ambitious proposal, given the sensitive and public location on one of the most important and historic monuments in the country. The Dean and Chapter seized the opportunity to commemorate the twentieth century martyrs, and to celebrate the multi-cultural nature of the Anglican Church. The design challenge was how to represent this diverse collection of individuals as a homogenous group and to insert them into a basically Gothic architectural setting. The whole project, from commission to installation needed to be completed in 20 months so that the unveiling could take place during a major Lambeth conference.

Ten Modern Martyrs

Ten Modern Martyrs, Westminster Abbey

Category: Figurative | Sculpture

Date: 1997-1998
Material: Richemont limestone

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