Jointly conceived by Sears and Davidson, the Jerusalem exhibition comprises 12 large scale portraits of individuals who live or work in the ancient, mystical troubled city of Jerusalem. Within the dozen Jerusalemites are Jews, Muslims, Christians, a politician, a Benedictine monk, a doctor, a peace activist, a hotel worker, a holocaust survivor, a cross section that lives together with conflict, prejudice and separation. Twelve subjects from across the denominations with differing perspectives. From the well-known (the Mayor, a Nobel prize winner, the founder of a peace movement) to the unknown. The theme of a common humanity is explored through paintings.
Colin has drawn on his experience growing up in Belfast during the Troubles to identify the tension that exists in every Jerusalem resident and capture the city’s unique atmosphere through the ciphers that are his subjects. The amplified scale of the portraits situated together in the same gallery space heightens the reality that, in spite of their differences, imagined or real, the subjects all inhabit the same space. No other city projects the complexity of meaning like Jerusalem. In contemporary, human terms, Jerusalem, the exhibition aims to reflect the complexity and contradiction of Jerusalem, the city.
Professor Philippe Sands, the eminent human rights lawyer and winner of the Bailie Gifford prize for non fiction for his book, East West Street has contributed an essay to the catalogue which accompanies the exhibition.