Search

Star Wars stormtrooper in crucifix sculpture ‘blasphemy’ row in Gidea Park

16:00 21 August 2014

Gallery owner Mark Belda and artist Ryan Callanan with the Stormtroopers

Gallery owner Mark Belda and artist Ryan Callanan with the Stormtroopers

Archant

Stormtroopers usually need no defending when under the command of Star Wars villain Darth Vader.

But an artist has fended off criticism of his “blasphemous” sculpture depicting one of the Galactic Empire soldiers being crucified, which is displayed in the window of a Gidea Park gallery.

Devout Christian Sarah Jenkin reported The Picture Frame Gallery, Main Road, Gidea Park, to Trading Standards for the artwork made by Collier Row artist Ryan Callanan.

“It’s extremely blasphemous and offensive,” said Mrs Jenkin, 48, of Gidea Park. “Some people may find it funny but, as a Christian, I don’t.

“It’s time Christians stand up and say ‘no we are not putting up with this’. I’m not going to throw a brick through the window but I will speak up.”

Mr Callanan, whose artwork has been bought by the likes of Fatboy Slim and Russell Brand, said: “It’s not making fun of any particular religion and certainly not Christianity.”

The piece of work represents the sacrifice of the movie stormtroopers as “cannon fodder” for someone else’s cause, said Mr Callanan, who is also known as RYCA.

The avid Star Wars fan said that he isn’t offended by Mrs Jenkin’s criticism. “If it was [Star Wars film-maker] George Lucas having a go at me I would be more upset,” he said.

Gallery owner Mark Belda, who says he was raised as a Catholic, also defended the sculpture, which is priced at more than £300 and titled The Long Suffering Stormtrooper.

“I’ve got three customers who are priests and they all like it. I totally take on board what she’s saying, but it’s not got anything to do with religion,” said Mr Belder.

The gallery is opposite St Michael and All Angels Church but vicar Phil Weston did not want to comment.

Mrs Jenkin is awaiting a reply from Trading Standards.

Read more:

Romford pictures: Star Wars fans bring the force to Harold Hill

Star Wars convention day

Gidea Park artist exploring his relationship with God in new exhibition

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 15:00
Spirit Factor finalist Courtney Abrahams

A young opera singer was “shocked” to be crowned champion of a talent contest on Saturday.

Yesterday, 09:00
The Robert Beard Centre in the 1970s.

Memories will be shared by past and present members of a youth centre when it celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Yesterday, 07:00
Colonel Markham Bryant, Havering Deputy Lieutenant, outside Buckingham Palace with his MBE for services to the army cadet force.

Haverying’s Deputy Lieutenant Colonel Markham Bryant received the award from Prince William at Buckingham Palace, on Tuesday.

Fri, 17:51
A crowded 8.17am train from Upminster to Fenchurch Street

Furious commuters have taken a stand against proposed train timetable changes that will see their journeys become longer but their chances of getting a seat slashed.

Most read news

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

News from your area

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24
Our trusted business finder

The political editor will be taking time off for treatment.

It involves a picture of a hand. You can guess what shape it is making.