St Mary in Exile
About the artist
John Martin is a Brisbane architect who completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Queensland University of Technology in 2008. His other tertiary studies were in Brisbane, Sweden and the United States of America. John combines his architecture practice with an art practice in various media. He has had artworks shown in group shows including the Marie Ellis Drawing Prize 2011, Tropfest 2013, the Cut to the Beat Competition 2014, and the John Copes Portrait Prize 2018.
About the sitter
For 40 years Father Peter Kennedy was a Catholic priest until 2009 when he was ousted from the Catholic Church, when he moved his congregation to St Mary’s Church in the multi-cultural, inner-city suburb of South Brisbane. His masses deviated from the traditional script and incorporated traditions from other spiritualities to be more inclusive. Women were allowed to preach, and same-sex couples were blessed. After refusing to change his unconventional brand of Catholicism he was dramatically excommunicated. His service moved from St Mary’s to the TLC Building down the street – and his congregation followed. To this day the well-attended services continue as a vibrant community. John Martin was fascinated by Peter’s story.