Malvern Based Artist Painting Historic Portrait of the Dean of Worcester


Tania is the Artist in Residence at the Cathedral, and is undertaking the portrait of the Very Reverend Peter Atkinson as part of her residency

"Since the Renaissance, eminent members of the clergy have been the subjects of portraiture," she said. "Some examples can be seen in the Vergers Parlour and the Library in Worcester Cathedral. During the 20th century, the advent of photography caused the decline of the painted portrait and the rise of the photographic portrait. I believe the painted portrait still has a place and is even more valid in this increasingly fast paced digital age where images are obtained instantaneously."

Tania, who completed both her undergraduate and Master's degrees at the University of Worcester before becoming a lecturer on the Master's in Creative Media degree, said: "The process of visually creating an illusion of a person on canvas, and capturing their mood and character fascinates me. There are historic painting influences in my work, and I draw inspiration from the old masters such as Caravaggio and Rembrandt in their use of light and shadow, and in their innovative painting techniques that give luminosity and life to their subjects."

"I feel privileged to be painting a portrait that will become part of the history of the Cathedral," she added. "The initial stage of the portrait began with a photo shoot, through which I obtained photographs for reference: this allows me to paint without the Dean being present. In addition to capturing his physical appearance, the photo shoot was the perfect opportunity for me to observe intangible information such as character and personality."

The portrait will be unveiled during a special ceremony in the autumn. At the end of her residency, in April 2019, there will also be a major solo exhibition of Tania's paintings at the Cathedral.

The Very Reverend Peter Atkinson said: "When I see the portraits of my predecessors as Dean of Worcester, such as William Juxon, George Hickes, William Moore-Ede or Bob Jeffery, I am humbled by the thought of standing in such a distinguished succession. I am all the more humbled by the thought of my portrait being added to the collection, and I am grateful to Tania for undertaking this project. I look forward to seeing myself duly framed and hung."