710 Madeline Street (1)
The East Wall.
Location: SE corner Madeline & Harvard; East Face
Occupant: Tabor Baptist Church
Neighbourhood: Victoria West
Artist(s): Charlie Johnston (C5 Artworks)
Mural of the Year 2007
2019 Update A note of explanation of our treatment of this Mural
Project on this website is needed. The TWO Murals at this location, entitled "" Jesus"
(west wall, i.e., front) and "The Worshipper" (east wall, i.e., back) won our Mural of the Year Award
for 2007. In 2019, the Jesus Mural was inexplicably painted over by an incoming new
The Canstar Herald clipping outlining their peculiar rationale for removing
imagery of Jesus and an award winning Mural no longer deemed a fitting imagery for
their building can be viewed
The Jesus Mural along with its commentary is now located in the RIP section. Our original treatment of this Mural
Project that includes both Murals and the complete commentary on both walls can be
seen in our Mural of the Year section (select 2007 from the year lookup menu).
After the Murals were finished, Tabor Baptist church posted a banner on their front
balcony, which reads the following:
Worshipper Mural- This Mural is intended to represent those who are the worshipper of
Jesus Christ. In her upward gaze you see the reflection of the cross as she looks upon the
ultimate demonstration of love.
Around her mouth and eyes you will notice the 'sfumato' effect (best known in the
picture of the Mona Lisa). This subconscious effect encourages the observer to introduce
his or her own personal emotional effect into the Mural. We are all welcome to come to
Jesus in times of joy, sadness and confusion.
Charlie Johnston: "The idea of the Mural itself is very simple. Jesus lived a simple life, was from simple
origins and lived amongst the common people and shared in their struggles. I worked
fairly closely with the minister, Rod Giesbrecht, who worked with his church committee.
He had a fairly clear idea of what he wanted, and I worked very close to that idea. Tabor
Church is what he called a back door church (the usual entrance is from the back door),
so he wanted that connection between a Mural on the front of the building and a Mural on
the back. The image of the child in Christ's eyes is how he looked upon his flock-
they're like his children in the eyes of God. So there's a relationship between the two
Murals: he's looking down from heaven onto his flock, and the female worshipper is
looking up to Christ with the reflection of the cross in her eyes."
"Sfumato is a Renaissance technique to create an ambiguity in a field of colour, portrait
or rendition. I think technically it also refers to light emerging from darkness- it's a
painting technique, and Leonardo da Vinci is probably best known for it. I tried to use
this technique throughout both Murals. When you see that effect, you tend to project
your own idea into the portrait- you read the emotions differently, which gives you the
feeling that it changes; it's mysterious. This portrait of CHRIST is literally a face
emerging from a gradient blend from dark to light, quite literally."
"I chose the model for the Worshipper. That lends authenticity- rather than an imagined
portrait which can come off as contrived. She once did a dance performance at our
gallery (Vault Gallery). She was tickled to be the model."
"I used projection. I got them both laid out and then I worked on them sequentially and
did the Jesus wall first and then came back and did the Worshipper. In the front there
was a grade going up to the wall which made it awkward, and really a one way trip on
and off with the lift. I roughed in the Worshipper with a ladder."
"The walls were medium to heavy grade stucco and I used rollers and brushes. And it
really worked! What I really liked about it was that the scale of the portraits and the
stucco- the stucco had this splesh-like feeling to give a fleshy kind of texture to the
surface that otherwise wouldn't be there. It was one of those wonderful synchronicities.
My painting and roller blending techniques worked very well- I used a lot of paint. It's
not easy to catch tiny details on that type of rough surface without using airbrush."
"There wasn't really much traffic there while I was working until after the article, when a
lot of people came by, honking their horns, giving the thumbs up. The kids at the
Daycare there were continually keeping a tab on what I was doing. One day they came
out and did chalk drawings of Jesus on the sidewalk in front of the Mural."