Art in focus: March 2020
These three hares can be seen cavorting in the centre of the chancel ceiling in St Luke’s Church, West Holloway, London. They were painted when the artist Rob Pepper, who is a member of St Luke’s, led the whole church in a project to paint the ceiling. The design included the hares, and leaves spreading out across the rafters, giving the impression of a tree canopy. It is too high up to be read from the floor but on each leaf is the name of a member of the St Luke’s community.
The three hares, dancing in a triangular shape, form a very ancient symbol found in the sacred sites of many faith groups across the world, especially in medieval churches. The arrangement of their ears makes them an intriguing puzzle or mystery, as this caption to a 16th-century Dutch engraving explains:
Turn and turn again and we will also turn, So that we give pleasure to each of you.
And when we have turned, count our ears,
It is there, without any disguise, you will find a marvel.
So why the hares in St Luke’s? In the Christian tradition, the three are a delightful symbol of the Holy Trinity.
Art in focus is curated by Meryl Doney
This article was published in the March 2020 edition of Reform