I don’t go into churches often, except on holiday where churches are part of the tourism circuit or, you know, for weddings or funerals, but today I popped into the Bunbury Cathedral.
The new Bunbury Cathedral.
The old one was rendered unsafe by a mini-tornado in 2005 and had to be demolished.
You don’t see brand new cathedrals all that often and as I was in Bunbury I thought I’d check it out.
Rather than traditional stained glass, the Bishop has gone for more modern techniques.
The art is courtesy of Robert Juniper. I say courtesy but I’m sure he was paid handsomely, and his signature is clearly on the artwork.
They were originally paintings which were photographed, blown up and the image inserted between panes of glass.
Much more cost effective – both initially and in terms of maintenance.
If a panel breaks you simply order another.
The alter piece is another Juniper piece depicting the resurrection.
This time the painting was transformed into a tapestry (made in some third world country).
No signature evident here.
I did have to ask why there was a tyre in the bottom right corner didn’t I?
I guess I’ve seen too many tyres abandoned in the Australian outback.
It’s not a tyre of course, but the opening of the tomb.
I thought it was rather a modern touch.
Meantime that’s Juniper in the red shirt.
It must be quite an honour to have your work chosen.
I loved the Australian-ness of it.
Inside, the Cathedral feels quite modern.
The font looks a bit like a plunge bath for the disabled and the entry isn’t as awe-inspiring as the cathedrals of Italy because you don’t go directly into the hall churchy bit.
Going past the gift shop just doesn’t feel the same.
In summary I’m not sure how I feel about it.
Or even, if I’m allowed to have an opinion.
Well it’s my blog.
Some bits I liked.
I liked the alter piece (despite the tyre tomb).
I quite liked the artwork – though I didn’t like the fact that Juniper’s signature was so obvious – it just seemed a bit wrong in a church – not sure why. (unless of course it was donated then… maybe?)
I didn’t like the font or the brickwork.
Both more Uniting Church than Catholic I thought.
I did like the view – very impressive from up on the hill.
As I write this I’m wondering if I’m more fuddy duddy than I thought.
Is it my experience of old churches that is dampening my reaction.
It’s just I wanted to be inspired and I wasn’t.
And it left me feeling a bit disappointed.
Maybe if I was Catholic I’d feel differently.
After all it was made for the congregation, not me.