Concrete crosses artwork unveiled at Scottish church

A prizewinning sculptor has created an artwork for a Scottish church – 77 crosses made out of concrete.

St Rollox Church in Sighthill, Glasgow which has been adorned with 77 crosses fashioned out of concrete by prizewinning sculptor Michael Visocchi.

Entitled Assembly, the work comprises 33 different styles of Christian cross, one representing each year of Jesus’s life before he was crucified.

The piece is attached to a wall on the outside of St Rollox Church in Sighthill, Glasgow.

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It was created by Michael Visocchi, who won the £45,000 commission after being selected by a jury chaired by Rev Jane Howitt, the congregation’s minister.

Rev Jane Howitt, the congregation's minister for St Rollox Church

The 44-year-old visual artist said it took him two years to make the crosses, which are inspired by a variety of Christian traditions such as Coptic, Byzantium, Catholicism and Presbyterianism.

The piece includes the St Andrew’s Cross, the Iona Cross, the Manx cross from the Isle of Man and the Hasta Cross, which is two-and-a-half metres long.

Visocchi, who works in Glenprosen in Angus, said: “The work is called Assembly and the idea is each cross represents the diversity of people who attend St Rollox Church.”

St Rollox is one of the Church of Scotland’s most diverse congregations and its outreach project has supported asylum seekers and refugees seeking sanctuary in Glasgow from war-torn countries like Kosovo, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq, for the last 20 years.

The artist added: “I always hope that an artwork like this means something to the people and community who commissioned it and perhaps it will inspire teaching and sermons over the years.

“The piece also resembles a flock of migrating birds in a way, which refers to the distance that people within the congregation have come to settle in Glasgow.

“So, there is a poetic element to it, as St Rollox Church does important community outreach work and I hope the piece reflects that.”

Visocchi is a graduate of the Glasgow School of Art and in 2007, was the youngest artist to be elected to the Royal Scottish Academy of Art and Architecture.

Ms Howitt said the work is a “thing of beauty”.

She added: “Michael is becoming an increasingly well-known sculptor and I imagine that anyone who has an interest in modern sculpture will find their way to St Rollox to admire his work.

“I reckon it will become a significant piece of work within the art world in time.”