Artist recreates Last Supper depicting Glasgow’s homeless

An artist has created a modern take on the Last Supper – replacing Jesus and the apostles with homeless men from Glasgow.

A painting by Iain Campbell, artist in residence at Glasgow's St George's Tron Church. Picture: PA

Iain Campbell aims to highlight the plight of the homeless at Christmas by depicting life at Glasgow City Mission.

The painting shows 13 men sitting around a table eating, drinking and talking, loosely based on Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper.

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The 40-year-old artist who is artist in residence for the Church of Scotland at Glasgow’s St George’s-Tron Church, said: “People keep asking me which one is Jesus and when we were setting up the composition of the 13 guys I deliberately didn’t compose it to imagine ‘this one’s Jesus, this one’s Judas’, and so on.

A painting by Iain Campbell, artist in residence at Glasgow's St George's Tron Church. Picture: PA

“One thing that was in the back of my mind is something that Jesus said in the Gospels: ‘Whatever you do for the least of these you do for me,’ so any one of them could represent Jesus.”

Two men who feature in the painting visited the Tron church in Buchanan Street this week to see it for the first time.

Arthur Curtis, 55, who now lives in housing association accommodation in Govan, said: “It’s absolutely stunning, incredible.”

John Wallace, 26, who is also depicted in the painting, said: “The painting shows a normal night in the Mission and hopefully it shows to folk living on the streets or on tough times that there is always a place and it’s open to everyone. I could see myself in it straight away because there’s so much detail.”

Glasgow City Mission was the first charity of its kind set up in 1826 by David Nasmith, who was shocked at poverty in the city.

It now works with adults and children in vulnerable situations. Around 250 people use the charity’s centres around the city each day.

Fundraising manager Graham Steven said: “It’s a fabulous painting and captures the characters we see day in, day out.”