Cruel Stones of St. Stephen, 2007
Carved Egyptian porphyry
Height 16cm (6 1/4") Width 47cm (18 1/2") Depth 35cm (13 3/4")
This work is currently on show with Adrian Sassoon, London.
I stood outside a gate of Jerusalem at the spot where my namesake was stoned to death. The emotion was of horror of a world past and the use of porphyry appropriate to a commemoration of that moment.
Egyptian porphyry was exclusive in the Roman Imperial era and, after the conversion of Constantine, became symbolic of the Holy Blood of Christ and significant in church decoration through the Byzantine era. I have used Egyptian porphyry for a number of sculptures representing saints’ ‘attributes’; griddles dedicated to St Lawrence, the Sword of St George, and the Lance of St Thomas amongst others.
This sculpture dedicated to Stephen has added poignancy in a world where stoning to death is not an act of the distant past.