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 Romford News Stories

51 minutes ago
The Royal British Legion Band and Corps Romford. Picture: Royal British Legion Band and Corps Romford

A marching band that will be celebrating its 65th anniversary later this year is on the look out for new enthusiastic members.

15:30
The latest fly-tip in Little Gerpins Lane, Upminster

Fly-tipping could cost the council up to £1million this year, the council has suggested.

14:30
Picture of the Range Rover stolen in Collier Row last Friday.

A family has been left “absolutely devastated” after a thief broke into their home while they were sleeping and fled with an expensive Range Rover.

14:00
Havering Mind's £35,000 funding for its mentoring programme will not be renewd by Havering Council, when it comes to an end in March. Picture credit: PA images

A mental health charity’s mentoring service is due to close after the council decided not to renew its funding.

From left to right, Kayleigh Duck, eight, peer mediator Ruby Howard, 11 and Ronnie Hardy, nine. Photo: Ann-Marie Abbasah.

A handful of schools around the borough have adopted an unconventional method of resolving issues between pupils.

Sue Hedges and April Hayden, in white T-shirts, joined a march to end knife crime.

In a show of strength relatives of stabbing victim Ricky Hayden joined more than 100 people to march against knife crime on Friday.

09:00
The Romford MP last year campaigning for the blue passport to return as a sign of Britains independence.

Romford MP and big Brexit supporter Andrew Rosindell hailed Theresa May’s ambitious speech after she indicated she would be pursuing a “hard” Brexit.

09:10
Upminster Station

There is no service between Romford and Upminster after the only train on the line broke down.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

WW100

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

Competitions

Are you in need of a new kitchen? Try our competition and you could win a brand new one!

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

MyOffers H&M Competition

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now