A SALISBURY artist is launching an exhibition inside St Thomas's Church next week.

Artist Cliff Topping, 84, has reproduced a total of 24 historical paintings since the first lockdown began.

The exhibition will be called 'Face to face with Jesus' and Mr Topping's paintings will be displayed from 14-21st August inside the church.

Mr Topping was inspired by the manager at Salisbury library, Philip Tomes, who encouraged him to do an exhibition on Jesus.

However, at first he questioned if it would be possible, since he didn't know what Jesus looked like.

He said: "It occurred to me that none of those people knew what Jesus looked like either, but they painted him.

"It wasn't Jesus's face they concentrated on, the paintings are about the situations Jesus finds himself in."

Reverend Kelvin Inglis, rector of St Thomas’s and St Edmund’s parish, said: "St Thomas's is a great place to showcase works of art. Cliff is a well known local artist and it is a delight to collaborate with him on this exhibition.

"Over the centuries, many great artists have attempted to re-imagine the face of Christ."

The exhibition will be free to visit but if visitors would like to contribute, St Thomas' Church is accepting donations.

"Cliff's impressions, based on their work, offer much opportunity for reflection. And St Thomas's, with its own painting of Christ in judgement above the chancel arch, is a superb setting for such a project," added Revd Kelvin Inglis.

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