Chem Chem, the Congo
Simon of Cyrene and Jesus, c.1990
54cm x 43cm unframed
Loaned by The Rt Revd Dr Graham Kings and Mrs Alison Kings.
Chem Chem, the Congo, Copper Reliefs
These panels were bought, so far as we remember, at the Benedictine Monastère Notre-Dame-des-Sources, Kiswishi, near Lubumbashi, Zaire (now DR Congo) about 1991. We know nothing about ‘Chemchem’, if that is the name of the artist as one assumes. Lubumbashi, the second city of the country, is the heart of the Congolese side of the Copperbelt, near the Zambian border, and so the copper sheeting from which these are crafted is easily available. We bought these reliefs as a memento of our years living and working there, keeping the Crucified Christ and giving the other to our friends. The phrase ‘hollowed out’ is one which comes to mind as one contemplates this representation of Jesus. It conveys something of the dignified and often joyful resilience of the people of the Congo, in the face of decades of suffering.
(The Revd Canon Dr Tim Naish, Canterbury Cathedral)