Artist creates new cross for Cathedral
Artist Graham Foster presented a gilded cross with a “bling factor” to the Anglican Cathedral yesterday to replace one he created more than 15 years ago.
The original cross, which was made from the cathedral’s old copper roofing tiles, was commissioned by the cathedral in 2002 and hung above the western entrance before it fell off in 2012 and was damaged.
Mr Foster said: “When I went to pick up the cross for repairs, someone told me it had fallen down during Sunday service like some omen from above.
“I later found out the story wasn’t quite as dramatic — it just fell on a Tuesday and scared the hell out of a bunch of tourists.”
Mr Foster started to create a new 5ft by 2½ft cross soon afterwards, this time out of wood, copper plating and a quarter-ounce of golf leaf.
The traditional-shaped cross replaced the original St Andrew’s Cross.
Mr Foster also stripped the original of its 400 copper tiles, which he shaped and etched by hand and crafted an extra 200 into a jigsaw shape to attach to the body of his new work.
Each plate took about an hour to make and he used about ten pounds of copper tiling in total.
Mr Foster said — despite being a welder — he was not used to that form of sculpting.
He said: “I hadn’t done much copper work so I kind of taught myself as I went along.”
Mr Foster explained he wanted to maintain a “tribal aspect” for the new cross, influenced by African and Pacific Rim art, and crafted some of his own chisels to make the right shapes.
He also added $400 worth of 23 carat gold leaf to most of the tiles to add a touch of colour and “up the bling factor”.
Mr Foster said the commission was a rewarding and worthwhile challenge, despite the 700 hours of work it took.
He added: “This is totally different from what I usually do because normally I weld a sculpture.
“I figured I’d done so much work on the original cross that I wanted to take it that extra step, so I put in a lot of extra hours on this one in between my regular commission work.”
Anglican Bishop Nicholas Dill said: “We’re just really thrilled to have the cross back in the cathedral.
“It represents a connection with the history of the cathedral with the roof but also all the connections with the local Bermudian arts.
“It’s been missing for a number of years and it’s great to have it home.”
The new cross will take pride of place over the west wall of the cathedral.