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Stations of the Cross



Mathew Calandra


1971 –

Alternate image of Stations of the Cross by Mathew Calandra
Alternate image of Stations of the Cross by Mathew Calandra
Alternate image of Stations of the Cross by Mathew Calandra
  • Details

    Other Title
    Stations of the Cross, Jesus falls for the second time: Easter rabbit cross; Rabbit run dog bit his leg; Bandaged in the burrow (triptych)
    Media category
    Materials used
    triptych: watercolour, ink and coffee wash on paper
    87.6 x 205.5 cm overall :

    a - left panel, 76 x 57.3 cm, 87.6 x 68.5 x 3 cm frame

    b - middle panel, 76 x 56.5 cm, 87.6 x 68.5 x 3.0 cm frame

    c - right Panel, 76 x 56.5 cm, 87.6 x 68.5 x 3.0 cm frame

    Purchased with funds provided by the Australian Prints, Drawings and Watercolours Collection Benefactors 2021
    Isaac Wakil Gallery
    Accession number
    © Mathew Calandra

    Reproduction requests

    Sir John Sulman Prize
    - 2021
    Artist information
    Mathew Calandra

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Mathew Calandra’s exceptional figurative drawings tell complex narratives that interweave the everyday with the fantastical. Working mainly in etching, drawing and gouache, Calandra’s linear style is unmistakable. Precise yet sinuous lines define his compositions, where forms are assertively outlined in pen.

    References to mythology and horror stories often appear in his scenes, with Freddy Krueger being a recurring character in his early paintings while other works have reinterpreted historical scenes from The Crusades and conjured with the fantastical worlds contained within the iconic Lady in the Unicorn tapestries. In recent work, people from Calandra’s daily life have entered the frame, often merged with or appearing alongside folkloric figures.

    This triptych reimagines the scene from the Christian crucifixion story where Jesus falls for the second time while carrying the crucifix. In Calandra’s retelling, the character of the bunny becomes an allegory inserted into the story. Describing the scene in his own words, Calandra notes:

    ‘There was an Easter bunny carrying a cross. A big bad dog bit the rabbit’s leg. The bunny got a little bandage in the tree home. The bunny was wounded but recovered and became alive again.’ – Mathew Calandra 2021

    Here, struggle and recovery are intertwined in a work that serves as both a cinematic storyboard and a moving study of pathos. Calandra’s characters contain complexities and his narratives carry nuance. This is only amplified by the textual annotations that appear in the work. Following a residency with Red Room Poetry, working with the award winning poet Dr Gareth Jenkins, Calandra has begun to write and integrate poems into his compositions to augment the lyrical nature of the scenes themselves. Calandra creates other worlds. For not only are his drawings fantastical but his tight linework and careful washes of colour are themselves transformative.

    This work was a finalist in the Sulman Prize 2021.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions