St Paul’s Catholic Primary School, Camden
“When they had heard the king, they set out”.(Matthew 2:9-12) ‘A king has been born? Go and find him for me! For I want to see him and worship him!’. This is the conversation I imagined king Herod to be having with one of the Magi. The wise man is shifting nervously on the spot, and can see Herod’s mind was a flurry of restlessness. Herod was desperate to find this apparent new king and wanted him gone; a feeling which did not sit easily with the visiting traveller.
Inspired by the artist Paula Giltner, this artwork in royal acrylic colours and a bronzed green background gives the audience a strong sense of wealth, and feelings of jealousy and greed. Herod is glancing sidewards, his eyes betraying him. He is trying to appear friendly and is doing his best to trick the Magi. This feeling connects with me, as my younger brother often tries to play and trick me into doing things for him. I am slightly suspicious and untrusting, so I listen cautiously, just as the Magi was slightly suspicious of Herod’s motive. It’s an image of mixed emotions, betrayal and royal trickery.