Chris Gollon

Church to keep 'grotesque' artwork despite congregation complaints

Mon 22 Jan 2018
By Cara Bentley

A piece of artwork painted specifically for Romsey Abbey in Hampshire hasn't gone down well with parishioners.

The painting, depicting the Abbess of Romsey - Ethelflaeda - from the year 1000 shows her by a candle holding a Bible.

The painting by Chris Gollon cost £6,000 but parishioners say it is a distraction from prayer.

The Daily Mail reports that congregation members found it "grotesque", "ugly" and "dark and disturbing".

The image of Ethelflaeda, a nun in the 10th century, was created for an exhibition in 2016 and now hangs on panels on the walls of the abbey.

According to the Telegraph, those who object say it does not "enhance or beautify the Abbey in any way" and that it is "anatomically impossible".

Romsey Abbey says the artwork is staying but declined to comment further to Premier.

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