The Casting Out

Exhibited at 44AD Artspace, the Royal United Hospitals, Bath Abbey, and Magdalen Chapel.

The Casting Out‘ is a group sculpture of ten figures in cement fondue, 1/3 life size, on a base 8ft x 7ft. The work refers directly to the foundation of a Leper Hospital in Bath in about the year 1100AD.  But in its depiction of the variety of reactions which people have towards those who are thought to present a risk or threat to the society around them, the theme is universal.

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The sculpture was made for a book entitled Finding Another Bath, about little known or forgotten locations in Bath. It was intended to be displayed for only a week, but at the request of St John’s Foundation it was moved to Magdalen Chapel, the site of the original Leper Hospital. It then went to the Royal United Hospitals for three months, and then was kindly requested by Bath Abbey where it once again attracted a lot of attention and provided food for thought and contemplation for passers-by. The tableau returned to Magdalen Chapel where it continues to raise funds for a leprosy charity.

The Casting Out was hosted by the team at Bath Abbey to assist in exploring and amplifying the Abbey’s work for Christian justice and hospitality.  Hundreds of visitors every week were drawn to stand and stare at these small vulnerable figures nestled in the shadow of the vast edifice of the Abbey, under the imposing stature of the risen Christ.  Engaging with the figure of the outcast leper, parents talked with children about prejudice in today’s society and others discussed the harsh realities of marginalisation and suspicion of difference.  The Abbey is grateful to Martin Elphick for the loan of his sculpture in support of its’ work in the city and further afield”.

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