Talk to us

CathNews, the most frequently visited Catholic website in Australia, is your daily news service featuring Catholics and Catholicism from home and around the world, Mass on Demand and on line, prayer, meditation, reflections, opinion, and reviews. And, what's more - it's free!

Barbara Skorupa with her artwork (Melbourne Catholic)

An international exhibition featuring “Great Women of Faith” depicted in a pop art-style is coming to Melbourne in March. Source: Melbourne Catholic.

Polish artist Barbara Skorupa said she “experienced a calling” 10 years ago to create a series of portraits of holy women. But not just any kind of portraits. She said that while the women featured are not from the “world of glamour”, she wanted to portray them “like Hollywood stars”.

Since then, Skorupa has created pop art–style portraits of more than 100 holy women from around the world that have been exhibited in galleries, churches and cloisters in and around Germany. Twenty-four of these portraits will be displayed at a special exhibition, titled “Great Women of Faith”, at St Patrick’s Cathedral from March 1-10.

“Pop art style has great iconic strength and timelessness and catches the eye,” Skorupa said. “You like to look at it; the colour contrasts attract. I wanted to draw attention to these women.”

Melbourne Archbishop Peter A Comensoli said he was “delighted that St Patrick’s Cathedral will be hosting these strikingly beautiful portraits of holy women, each of whom lived lives of deep faithfulness and hope”.

While the subjects in Skorupa’s collection are not all officially recognised saints, she said what unites them is their “exceptional character and faith”. The line-up includes some of Australia’s own holy women, such St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, Dr Sr Mary Glowrey and Eileen O’Connor.

It also features the faces of women who may not be as well known to the public, including Anna Dengel, a medical missionary and founder of the Medical Mission Sisters, and Satoko Kitahara, a Japanese woman who was baptised Catholic as a young adult and cared for the poorest of the poor before dying of tuberculosis at 28. She was declared Venerable in 2015.


‘Great Women of Faith’ exhibition coming to Melbourne this March (By Melbourne Catholic with Gabrielle McMullan)