Saturday, 17 October 2020

Selah! A Moment Of Decision

Selah is a Hebrew word- it occurs in the book of Psalms, and is usually interpreted to mean pause/take a moment/meditate/just think about it....Selah is also the name of a recent exhibition by the amazingly gifted British photographer Rory Lewis. Because access to galleries is somewhat limited at the moment, the artworks are being displayed on screen at Liverpool Railway Stations this week.

Here's Rory and his wife, Alexandra. He is very influenced by the chiaroscuro work of artists like Caravaggio, Dore and Ribera. I love Caravaggio's stuff - the one time I visited the Netherlands, Bob and I went to the Rembrandt/Caravaggio exhibition in the Van Gogh Museum, and I relished every moment. Rory uses dark backgrounds and clever lighting to reveal the depth of character in his subject [just look at Sir Patrick Stewart on the poster]

He chose Selah as his title because he wanted to capture a person's expression at that moment when they realise something, and make a decision. Here are some examples- Rufus Sewell, Natalie Dormer, Sir Ian McKellern, James Purefoy, Tobias Menzies and David Warner.

These actors look like people in classical works of art - contemplating, understanding, deciding, perfectly still in a moment of time.
Lewis also likes recreating the works of the Old Masters. Here's Doré's The Neophyte - a young priest surprised to find himself with all these older men - and below, Lewis' contemporary rendering of this group.

When we were in Amsterdam, I was very moved by Caravaggio's picture of Judas betraying Jesus. Rory has recreated this too

And here is Anna Passey [Hollyoaks] alongside Judith by Caravaggio I have omitted the rest of the painting - you really don't need to see Holofernes' dreadful end.

Do check out RL's website [here] He is so amazingly talented. 


  1. These really are wonderful. I have a friend who is very interested in photography so I will pass along the link.

    When I was in Vienna a few years ago one of the highlights of my trip was seeing some of the Caravaggio's at the History Museum.

    1. One wonders how much more great art C would have produced if he'd not died young.

  2. Very interesting, the photos and the theory. How do you pronounce Delay please Su

    1. I think Autocorrect has afflicted your comment! I've always said SEE-lah. But there seem to be various ways of pronouncing it!

  3. My goodness! These are very effective!


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