Diocese to receive official portrait of Bishop James

A moving portrait of Bishop James standing on the Dulverton Bridge of the Cathedral is to be presented to the Diocese of Liverpool.

A moving portrait of Bishop James standing on the Dulverton Bridge of the Cathedral is to be presented to the Diocese of Liverpool. Paid for by private donation, it will hang in Bishop’s Lodge alongside the portraits of previous Bishops of Liverpool.

Painted over a period of six months by Aberdeen artist Nicole Porter, it creates a sense of spiritual reflection capturing his approachable nature while reflecting his position as a figure of guidance and authority.

Nicole described her extensive research to capture the essence of a bishop who she described as an exceptional character and someone who had the gratitude of a city behind him. She explained the challenge of portraying someone who preferred to have the spotlight on others saying, “All his life has been focused on a commitment to help other people, so to have the spotlight turned on you in such an intense way with an artist observing your appearance and mannerisms, was understandably not an appealing thought.”

The location for the portrait was important. Nicole explains, “The idea to situate the portrait inside the cathedral felt like a very appropriate choice.  The grand exterior set up high on St James Mount overlooking the city of Liverpool, has in fact, a very intimate atmosphere when you step inside.  The Dulverton Bridge appealed to us both for many reasons.  It had the attraction to me of providing an instantly recognisable viewpoint of the cathedral as well as signifying a visual representation of the Bishop’s role of shepherding his flock below.  The view of the arch created by the south window was symbolic to the Bishop and the elevated location allowed a sense of privacy and quiet contemplation.”

The poise of the Bishop is significant. His gaze slightly upwards captures a sense of prayer and spiritual reflection. His hands were a key part with the portrait emphasising his ecclesiastical ring and wedding rings.

Nicole Porter expressed, “It was an honour to paint Bishop James and the experience is one I will treasure forever.  I hope the portrait will inspire people to reflect on all the great things he has done throughout his career.”

Bishop James said, “while not feeling entirely comfortable with a process that focuses so intensely on myself I am extremely pleased with a portrait that reflects glory to God where it is due.”

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About the Artist

Nicole Porter gained a First Class honours degree in Fine Art from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee before continuing her studies in Norway, Paris and New York.

Since returning to her hometown of Aberdeen, the 26 year old award-winning artist has set up her own gallery and studio space where she specialises in portrait painting.

2004 to 2008: Studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee (Gained a First Class Honours Degree in Fine Art)

Awards
Artist of the Year 2011 - Artists and Illustrators Magazine - shortlisted artist
Commended work at the Aberdeen Artists Society Exhibition 2011
Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant 2010
Aberdeenshire Visual Artists Award Scheme 2010
People’s Choice Award at GFA Annual Exhibition 2010
Farqhuar Reid Trust Art Prize 2008
Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant 2008
Second Prize at the Boundary Gallery Figurative Art Prize 2008
The David Gordon Memorial Trust Award at the Royal Scottish Academy Student Exhibition 2008
Winner of the Artists and Illustrators Magazine Self-Portraiture Competition 2007

Find out more
www.nicoleporter.co.uk