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Work Place Chaplaincy Scotland Blog

THE POWER OF THE CROSS

Celtic Cross Larry

At our staff team meeting last week, we were privileged to enjoy a talk by Dr Larry Scrimgeour - volunteer chaplain for Dundee and Angus College.

Larry is a self taught Iconographer (the study of icons) and is passionate about the subject.  His presentation was both interesting and informative and interjected with a great deal of humour!

As a young man growing up in Dundee, Larry studied art for a year at school and decided he wanted to be a naval architect in the shipyards.  His mother was totally against this idea and said “No”!  Turns out she was right!

So, a young Larry went to university and spent the majority of his working life teaching in universities.

Once retired, Larry took the opportunity to pick up his art again and this is when his interest in Celtic Art took hold.

On a recent visit to Venice, Larry found himself looking for images in the various pictures he was looking at - something that comes with the territory when you’re an Iconographer! And yes, he found a celtic cross in St Marks church.

He had recently been speaking with a friend about designing a cross for a church in Jersey.  He thought about this and eventually came up with the finished article which can be seen at St Columba Church of Scotland, St Helier.  The cross has been designed to depict the 8 channel islands, the 4 gospels and the rising and setting of the sun.  All of Larry’s images are representative of things he’s seen or thought about and gradually, over a period of time, an image unfolds.

Whilst there are people all over Scotland drawing Celtic art, very few have had the good fortune to have their work exhibited.  He accredits this good fortune to his wife who once asked him “why don’t you show your work to people” - so he started doing so and now we can all enjoy it.

In all the work he exhibits, there’s a gradual progression from image based Pictish to abstract Celtic  art which represents to him the natural progression of the conversion process.

In his spare time, Larry enjoys diving and feels privileged that he’s still able to do this every summer.

If you get an opportunity, I would encourage you to visit one of Larry’s exhibitions.  I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.  

The image on the poster for Larry’s most recent exhibition, St Ninian’s Rod, is based on a picture of St Ninian which is on a stained glass window at Edinburgh Castle.

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