The Sculpture and Garden of St. Peter at the Cranbourne Campus was blessed by Bishop Christopher Prowse as part of our St Peter’s Feast Day in 2012. While our Opening Mass held in February 2016 saw the St. Peter Sculpture at the Clyde North Campus blessed by Bishop Patrick O’Regan
The sculpture at our Cranbourne Campus, produced by artist Bart Sanciolo, captures beautifully the contrasting human qualities of Peter, the apostle that denied Jesus but loved him the most. The aim of this captivating work is to not only enhance our identity proudly as a Catholic school, but also become a place where we can reflect on what Jesus asked of Peter, how he responded and what this means in our own lives.
Thank you all who have contributed to the Sculpture and Garden of St. Peter: Artist Bart Sanciolo, the students whose art work adorns it, the staff whose thoughts on Peter helped bring it to life and the Parents & Friends Association whose generous donation made this tribute to Peter possible.
The Sculpture at our Clyde North Campus is known as…..St. Peter – a man of contradictions.
St. Peter had a great faith but at times was plagued by self-doubt and uncertainty. He was strong willed and courageous in the pursuit of his beliefs, but also vulnerable and weak – as with his denial of Christ. Although flawed and a sinner, he was chosen first by Jesus and others looked up to him. It is thus fitting that this bronze statue has a sense of ambiguity about it.
St. Peter is kneeling in water on a rock (Petrus, his namesake) reaching out. Is he reaching for Jesus for help as he momentarily loses his faith and sinks into the waters, or is he welcoming those coming through the College gates, beckoning them to join him? Are they joining him in his journey of faith and following in his footsteps – or are they entering heaven?
His strength of character is represented by the strength of his physique seen through his clothing. Strong winds represent the difficulties he faced in his journey – but never giving in, he continued to carry on. The cape-like stainless steel fisherman’s net is detached, having been ripped from him taking fragments of his clothing with it. He has severed ties with his life as a fisherman to join Jesus and become a fisher of people. He clutches the symbolic keys to the Kingdom of Heaven in his left hand.
There is a cross incorporated in the net falling away from St. Peter’s shoulders. Is it the right way up or is it an inverted (Petrine) cross such as that upon which he was crucified? It could be either – depending on which way you are going, which path you are taking.
About the Artist
Jenny Steiner has worked as a muralist for both the private and public sectors for four years and has completed a post graduate course in International Public Art at RMIT. Currently her main focus is in the area of Public Art with over 20 works in Australia and overseas including murals, cenotaphs, sculpture and memorials. She uses a variety of media including paint, mosaic, metal and glass.
In her capacity as ‘artist’ her projects are long lasting works that ‘tell a story’ while standing the test of time. The narrative is extremely important in Jenny’s work.