St. John’s Church in Broadbridge Heath commissioned local artist and book illustrator, Nicola Bridgman, to create a mural for the church hall, which was unveiled on Sunday (3 June), by Rev. Paddy Beresford. The mural is in honour of his 6 years’ service to the church, and in appreciation of the love and dedication that he and his wife have brought to both the church and to the village community. It is his upcoming retirement in September that St. John’s has marked with this occasion.
The church committee had thought that an artwork would add vibrancy and attraction to the hall; the colourful mural measures 6m long and 1.5m high. The inspiration for the work came from Pieter Bruggel’s painting ‘The Blue Cloak’ in which he portrayed more than 100 Dutch proverbs. Nearly 500 years later, Nicola Bridgman, who has given freely of her time to creating this work, has depicted nearly 30 of Christ’s parables in one scene.
For this work, Nicola has used a graphics tablet and digital pen. She explained: “There is a multitude of artist tools; brushes, charcoals, pastels, pens and pencils, with so many options and settings that make any style and medium possible in digital format. I was able to sketch the mural directly in the software to build up layers of the various characters and cameo scenes to form the complete whole.”
Local company, BEL Signs, have mounted and hung the print for free, as a ‘service to the community’ – their MD, Peter Bedford, also lives in the village.