The story of St George and the Dragon is an epic and inspiring one, stretching from the early Christian period through to 1415, when St George became the Patron Saint of England.

Some of the greatest insights into the life of St George have come through the medium of art. The earliest known images do not show a dragon at the feet of St George’s horse, but depict the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who is believed to have condemned St George to death in 303AD for resolutely declining to make sacrifices to idols.

In later images of the saint, Coptic Christians removed the image of the Emperor Diocletian, and replaced it with a crocodile. During the medieval period, a dragon appears at the feet of St George’s horse. In other images, he is portrayed as a knight saving a beautiful maiden from an evil dragon.

Just as the story of St George has evolved through the centuries, so do the artworks depicting this great Saint.

The St George and the Dragon public artwork commission was launched in 2008, following a generous donation to the St George’s Cathedral Foundation for the Arts by Mark Creasy. Our aim is to have a contemporary representation of St George and the Dragon placed in the forecourt of the Cathedral, which will attract, exhilarate and even confront our visitors.

Private funding enabled us to keep the parameters as wide as possible, the only guideline being the theme of St George and the Dragon, the triumph of good over evil, the yearning for life over death, the prevailing of peace with justice over tyranny and oppression.

A call for submissions was distributed worldwide, resulting in 99 designs from 17 countries. These were almost equally divided between a third from Australia, a third from North America and a third from Europe, including Latvia, Bulgaria, Estonia, Spain, France, Israel, Italy and the Netherlands.

The designs were then displayed on a dedicated website with the artists’ consent, and votes invited to establish the ‘People’s Choice’. This innovation heightened public interest in the project, with a staggering 4,380 votes received in the first round alone.

We were interested to find that the selection panel placed five of the people’s top six on the shortlist. Marcus Canning and Christian de Vietri have my heartfelt support and congratulations. I look forward to seeing the finished work inspiring all who visit our beautiful Cathedral.

The Very Reverend Dr John Shepherd (Dean of Perth, 1990-2014)

The story of St George and the Dragon is an epic and inspiring one, stretching from the early Christian period through to 1415, when St George became the Patron Saint of England.

Some of the greatest insights into the life of St George have come through the medium of art. The earliest known images do not show a dragon at the feet of St George’s horse, but depict the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who is believed to have condemned St George to death in 303AD for resolutely declining to make sacrifices to idols.

In later images of the saint, Coptic Christians removed the image of the Emperor Diocletian, and replaced it with a crocodile. During the medieval period, a dragon appears at the feet of St George’s horse. In other images, he is portrayed as a knight saving a beautiful maiden from an evil dragon.

Just as the story of St George has evolved through the centuries, so do the artworks depicting this great Saint.

The St George and the Dragon public artwork commission was launched in 2008, following a generous donation to the St George’s Cathedral Foundation for the Arts by Mark Creasy. Our aim is to have a contemporary representation of St George and the Dragon placed in the forecourt of the Cathedral, which will attract, exhilarate and even confront our visitors.

Private funding enabled us to keep the parameters as wide as possible, the only guideline being the theme of St George and the Dragon, the triumph of good over evil, the yearning for life over death, the prevailing of peace with justice over tyranny and oppression.

A call for submissions was distributed worldwide, resulting in 99 designs from 17 countries. These were almost equally divided between a third from Australia, a third from North America and a third from Europe, including Latvia, Bulgaria, Estonia, Spain, France, Israel, Italy and the Netherlands.

The designs were then displayed on a dedicated website with the artists’ consent, and votes invited to establish the ‘People’s Choice’. This innovation heightened public interest in the project, with a staggering 4,380 votes received in the first round alone.

We were interested to find that the selection panel placed five of the people’s top six on the shortlist. Marcus Canning and Christian de Vietri have my heartfelt support and congratulations. I look forward to seeing the finished work inspiring all who visit our beautiful Cathedral.

The Very Reverend Dr John Shepherd (Dean of Perth, 1990-2014)