Exhibition | ‘Jesus in Melbourne’ by Michael Donnelly

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Exhibition | ‘Jesus in Melbourne’ by Michael Donnelly

Sunday, February 12 to Wednesday, May 10

Jesus in Melbourne is an ongoing series of monoprints begun in 1995. The first group of prints was exhibited as ‘Christ in Melbourne’ in 1995 at St John’s Southgate. A second group entitled ‘Passion Suite’ was shown at the St Francis Pastoral Centre in 2001.

Michael has located the story of Jesus’ life in Melbourne, just as the Australian painter Arthur Boyd had done 70 years earlier.

The works ask: What would it be like and how would we respond, if Jesus lived in contemporary Melbourne? If Jesus came to twenty-first century Melbourne, who would he associate with? How would he be treated?

Would Jesus be popular or scorned in contemporary Melbourne? Could he be cheered into Melbourne along Swanston Street, then discredited by the media and bashed in the city lock-up? Would he be weeping over what he saw in the city from the top of the Westgate Bridge? Could he agonise over suffering for others at the Myer Music Bowl and be arrested in the Royal Botanic Gardens? Could he end up crucified at Chadstone Shopping Centre? Would he celebrate his resurrection on the beach at Elwood?


A monoprint is a one-off print made from ink worked over a smooth plate onto paper. For the Jesus in Melbourne prints, a copper plate was rolled up with black etching ink, and brushes, rags and cotton buds were used to make the images in the ink. The print was then made by running the plate through an etching press. It is a spontaneous, immediate process demanding quick, heartfelt responses. Michael believes these rich black and white prints are a response in the moment that nonetheless contains two-thousand-year-old truths.

On display in the Cathedral’s Gallery, beginning Sunday 12 February 2023 through until Wednesday 10 May 2023.
It is available to view during the Cathedral’s regular visiting hours.

The Artist | Michael Donnelly

Michael Donnelly (Artist)

Michael Donnelly is a Melbourne/East Gippsland-based artist who has held numerous solo exhibitions since 1984. He has worked as an art educator in secondary schools and with students who have vision impairments. Michael shares his time between studios in Melbourne on Wurundjeri lands and in Lake Tyers Beach on the lands of the Gunaikurnai peoples. He is an active member of the Uniting Church in Ashburton and Lakes Entrance.

Michael Donnelly | visualartist.info



Image: “Jesus Entry into Melbourne” from A Melbourne Passion Suite, 2001


Sunday, February 12
Wednesday, May 10
Event Category:


St Paul’s Cathedral
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St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne
206 Flinders Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000 Australia
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03 9653 4333
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