This symbolic sculpture of Jesus depicted as a homeless man lying on a bench was unveiled in St Ann’s Square in 2018. The stigmata in the feet of the sculpture suggest that the figure is Jesus, and the body is just a little smaller than life-size.
The statue was designed by Canadian artist Timothy Schmaltz as part of a series of thought-provoking works installed in different places around the world, though this is the first in the UK. Westminster City Council in London rejected Schmaltz’s application for a sculpture to be placed outside the Houses of Parliament.
The sculpture challenges the passerby to reflect on the growing crisis of homelessness in Manchester. Seeing a person sleeping rough is not an uncommon sight. There are approximately 1,800 homeless people in Manchester, with the number increasing by the day.
I think the statue has a very powerful effect, even to the non-religious viewer, like myself.