Pope painting to honour rare UK visit

An ARTIST is painting a 5ft tall portrait of Pope Benedict XVI to mark the first Papal visit to the UK in 28 years.

The art work will hang in the school hall of Trinity Catholic High School, Mornington Road, Woodford Green.

School artist in residence James Bainbridge, pictured right, started work on the 5ft by 3ft painting on Monday, and he expects to finish it by next week.

The 23-year-old said: “I’ve just finished doing an art degree at university and this is my first attempt at painting people so its quite a fun challenge.”

Children at the school have been watching the painting, commissioned by school headteacher Dr Paul Doherty, evolve in front of their eyes as the artist gets to grips with painting the 83-year-old Pope.

Mr Bainbridge said: “That was the whole point of it. I want people to come in and see how it develops.

“My work changes a lot because there are a lot of layers so it’s great to see people come past and notice things change.”