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Pictures: Stunning 26ft artwork created by 79-year-old nun in Devon

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: March 23, 2014

  • Pictures: SWNS

  • Buckfast Abbey

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These pictures show a stunning artwork in a Devon church – created by a 79-year-old nun.

The spectacular 18ft art work depicts monks rebuilding Buckfast Abbey, where it is homed.

Over three years, with breaks for hip surgery, Mother Joanna worked tirelessly, painting for six hours a day, every day – apart from Sundays.

The result is an arch-shaped mural made up of 20 wooden panels.

Mother Joanna was commissioned to create the piece as part of the celebrations for the abbey’s millennium in 2018.

The work is painted in acrylic, often using a palette knife instead of a brush.

As she progressed, she was forced to pause for three operations and turned to friend Sister Mary Stephen, 83, herself an artist and a former art teacher, for help with practical tasks, such as mixing paint.

Together they made the deadline at the end of last year.

Mother Joanna said: ‘It has pushed me to the limit both physically and mentally but there has been a lot of enjoyment in it as well. It really has got to be the project of my life.’

The mural, in Buckfast’s 360-seat Grange restaurant, is due to be unveiled next month. Abbot David Charlesworth, who commissioned the work, said: ‘It is a monumental effort.’

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