Paintings of the last supper are unique tableaux demonstrating the unity and power of friendship, emphasised by the spectre of treachery. This stimulated Bayliss Brown to embark on painting his own version to highlight the potency of friendship and the forces released when this trust is betrayed. The project involved recruiting the twelve most significant men whose friendship he had shared at strategic points in his life.
The friends are dressed in biblical costume to reference the fact that emotions are timeless, unchanged in the modern world. The moment captured is when Christ announces he has been betrayed, but the perpetrator is not yet known. It questions the viewer about the value of friendship and whether indeed every man has his price. It seeks to illustrate the weight of guilt on the perpetrator and, literally in Christ’s case, The Weight of Blood on their conscience.
The Weight of BloodPainting (see here) was longlisted for the BP National Portrait award (2015) and subject of a solo exhibition in Westminster Cathedral in 2016.