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Visiting Speaker: Andrew Graham-Dixon

The Religious Studies department invited Andrew Graham-Dixon, renowned art critic, journalist, and broadcaster, to St Mary’s Church on November 27th to lead a lecture on exploring faith through the work of Caravaggio. It was a wonderful and inspiring evening and we were all transfixed on both the artworks and on the illuminating and engaging overview given by Andrew Graham-Dixon.

Andrew Graham-Dixon, the author of numerous books on subjects ranging from the art of the Middle Ages and Renaissance to the present day, including Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane, was unsparing, witty, and probing. He encouraged the audience – pupils, parents, parishioners, and representatives from other schools – to think and feel about the artwork, symbolism, colours, content, and use of light. We were encouraged to read between the lines and to search for the truth. Beauty in art and in literature has the capacity to open up for us a space where we can recognise God’s presence and we were left in no doubt of God’s presence under the expert guidance of Andrew Graham-Dixon. Some of the notable paintings were ‘The Crucifixion of Saint Peter’ and ‘The Conversion on the Way to Damascus’.

Pope John Paul II has previously said that ‘People of today and tomorrow need this enthusiasm of wonder if they are to meet and master the crucial challenges which stand before us’. The talk was illuminating, engaging, and inspiring and a necessary tonic during a bustling and lively academic term! Thank you to the Religious Studies department for organising the event and thank you to the Music department and choir for supporting.