“Let There Be Light” is the title of this solo art exhibition of the fallen angel, Lucifer. This massive exhibit was constructed in the Holy Trinity Church in Marylebone, London, by artist Paul Fryer who is based out of London.
The Holy Trinity Church is a former Anglican church, built in 1828, designed by John Soane. The church was erected as part of the Waterloo Churches to celebrate the defeat of Napoleon. The church changed hands many times afterward from a place of worship, to a warehouse space for Penguin Book publishers for a short time, to a spaced used by the Anglican missionary organization, Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK), to a space used now by The Wedding Gallery and One Events which focuses on weddings and event coordination.
This Lucifer installation is part of a bigger “Morning Star” installation series, which depicts the fallen angel struggling among a webbing of telegraph lines. The massive statue, created from wax and real feathers, is suspended over a former altar space. Ornate stained glass windows illuminate the contrasts of light and shadow that are cast over the statue, intensifying the ominous statement that many have tried to interpret it to be. Perhaps it is intentional that Mr. Fryer has not personally released a statement on what the statue is meant to represent exactly, but we can draw quite a few conclusions as to what he was intending to express.
Lucifer in Latin means “light-bringer”, but also represents “the morning star”, and the “planet Venus”. “Lucifer” in Latin is compared to “Phosphoros” in Greek, which gives further credence to a celestial astronomical context, especially in Mythology.
Throughout the centuries the stories of Lucifer’s fall from grace have gained traction, and many versions of such stories have caused great debate among spiritual, cultural, historical, and religious circles.
“Let There Be Light” is a perfect representation of this great debate; Telegraph lines can represent “communication”, yet those lines of communication have become jumbled together. Information cannot get through clearly. Miscommunication, misrepresentation, and misunderstanding traps us in a web of confusion. The suffering, clearly depicted on Lucifer’s face, can represent our own suffering to understand the truth, among a web of lies, mistruths, and misinterpretations. We are all trapped within the confines of what we have been taught to be true, against a backdrop of buried history, myth, legend and lore. Perhaps our “fall from grace” references more about our ignorance than pride. And perhaps this is less about the sins and fallacies of mankind, and more about how being kept in the dark gives rise to rebellion in pursuit of the truth. We must never be afraid to pursue the truth because it is within the true that we shall be set free.
By Debbie Edwards