The Churches Advertising Network has commissioned a painting of the nativity, set in a freezing bus shelter, to be displayed at over 1000 bus shelters across the UK throughout December. The oil painting, by Royal Academy Gold medal winner, Andrew Gadd, depicts the holy family, with halos, in a dark bus shelter. The shepherds and wise men are replaced with fellow passengers waiting for a bus. Some are watching the nativity intently; others appear oblivious and are checking the bus timetable and flagging down a bus.
Francis Goodwin, the Chair of CAN, says: “We are very used to the Renaissance image of the Nativity. But what would it look like if it happened today? Where would it take place? We want to challenge people to reassess what the birth of Jesus means to them. By using a powerful and contemporary piece of art, from a world renowned painter, we can create an enduring image for our own times.”
Andrew Gadd, the artist, says: “At first I didn’t like the idea of painting a nativity scene in an urban setting. However, once it was explained that it was to be designed for bus stops, it gave me an idea… this idea. The bus stop when simplified is like a stable. It is after all a shelter; a place people go to but never want to be. So where better to stage a nativity? How unlikely! The image reflects the environment it will be shown in, and therefore includes the viewer. Which is what it is all about.”
The poster is available for download in CYMK, RGB and PDF formats at Churches Advertising Network.
The bus shelter sites were donated by Clear Channel Ltd.