The Heart of Things

Philosophy students from Harris Westminster had the privilege of being able to attend an exhibition of Paul Hobbs' work at Westminster School. Sophia Hambleton-Grey writes about her experience below.


On Tuesday the 25th September, a group of 20 philosophy students visited Paul Hobbs' art exhibition, The Heart of Things at Westminster School. His artwork comments on contemporary issues while also relating to faith through the use of halos and recognisable Christian motifs. While Hobbs was at art college (having first read SPS at Cambridge), he began to add aspects of other parts of his life, such as Christianity, into his work to create something more personal. One of his earlier pieces on display, named Icon (famine), depicts a Madonna and child but the figures are actually a starving mother and child from Sudan. He photocopied the figures in varying exposures, then torn parts of each exposure and layered them to get the original shape but an extremely raw image. In isolating just two figures we feel we can help them. Moreover, the cross on the halo says they are both representative of Christ, which together with the Greek quotation on the collage (from Matthew 25:40) suggests when you hurt normal people you also hurt Christ, and furthermore encourages us to help them.

Other pieces of his work show refugees, machetes and orphan children using an appropriate medium from collage, acrylic paint, photo-etching, sculpture to objet trouve art. Giving them a Christian context not only emphasises that we must help but also shows the relevance of faith today.