© the artist. Courtesy of the artist and David Risley Gallery

Leper Squint No. 3 2012

Michael Simpson (1940 – )


152 x 115 cm
oil on canvas
Accession number


For the past three decades Simpson has explored ideas relating to what he describes as ‘The infamy of religious history’. The ‘Leper Squint’ series from which these works are taken relates to an architectural feature of medieval churches, a tall, slim opening in a wall which allowed lepers to observe religious services without contaminating the wider congregation. A contradiction to religious teachings that was quite literally built in to the church. In each of the Leper Squint paintings we the viewer are placed in the position of the leper, facing a structure, a ladder or steps we are left to wait and wonder what, if anything lies beyond the squint.