This morning I was stopped in my tracks by this powerful piece of art in Chichester Cathedral from Paul Benney called ‘Speaking in Tongues.’ He has ‘”depicted the apostles as people who are known to him – friends and contemporaries. ……………… from different ethnicities and religious backgrounds together, as they collectively experience a profound spiritual awakening.”
The actual picture is massive around 8 x12 feet and it has a highly reflective mirror-like resin surface that reflects your image – giving the effect that you are in the picture with all the people!
“This work ‘Speaking in Tongues’ is an attempt to bring the deeply strange and emotionally affecting moment of the Pentecostal appearance of the Holy Pneuma to a contemporary audience. I feel that the message embedded in the work; of spiritual inclusion across a multitude of cultural and religious practices can be seen as a key issue of our times.” (Paul Benney)
A friend from Germany wrote after seeing the picture on my FB page – he comments “It reminded me of a story, told to me by my mother about her great-grandfather who could see those tongues on peoples heads. He used to be a christian, but he didn’t know what he saw. Some people wore the fire and some didn’t. He saw this regularly but no one could explain it to him. I always thought it must have been the Spirit of God. It was amazing to see this picture because it really describes the storys my mom and and my grandma told me.”