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/ 15 October 2015

Pimlico church triumphs with icon exhibition

Icons Exhibition

The British Association of Iconographers (BAI) has opened another exhibition at St Saviour’s Church in Pimlico, which is well on its way to becoming an established fixture in the fine art and iconographers calendar.

The show, which exhibits some of the best items in British iconography by amateur and professional artists, has been hailed as a great example of Christian art and has been supported by His Eminence Gregorios, Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain, in the Orthodox Church.

For many Christians, religious icons are a valuable means of drawing us closer to Christ and depict him in his commonwealth of saints and angels, most notably the Virgin Mary, or in a scene from scripture. For others, they are a means to mediate and comprehend the mystery of God. For the artist (or ‘icon writer’ as they are more formally known), preparing an icon comes after a period of prayer and fasting, with self-discipline and holiness of life. The writers should be at peace with him or herself and with his neighbour to enable the Holy Spirit to work through the paintbrush and into the picture before them.

Archbishop Gregorios suggests:

“Holy icons are windows into heaven and an open bible for man, giving a new understanding for God’s presence, peace and love towards the human race. In this way, icons become an undisputed tool in uniting God and Creation.”

Any proceeds from the exhibition will be given to the Bethlehem Icon Centre, in the West Bank, which is the only icon school in the Middle East. The school trains 18 local students to write and restore icons and the centre is a beacon of light for the Christian population in the region. It is a valuable location for Palestinian Christians to find employment when the community in the area is dwindling to the point of extinction.

John Clawson, Publicity and Information Officer for the BAI said:

“It is a wonderful achievement for the BIA to be presenting this exhibition with internationally acclaimed iconographers as well as many newcomers to iconography. The Association’s aim is to deepen the knowledge and inner understanding of icons and the spirituality associated with them, and we have many members from across the globe who are exhibiting here.

“We very are grateful to the clergy and parishioners of St Saviour’s, Pimlico for giving us permission to hold this exhibition in such a beautiful church.”

Supporting the exhibition, the Vicar of St Saviour’s, Fr Matthew Catterick, said:

“We are delighted to welcome the BIA exhibition to St Saviour’s, as the icons help us appreciate the mystery and beauty of holiness, whilst enabling us to share the gospel through these beautiful works of devotion and prayer.

“This exhibition, which is one of many we hope to hold, enables us to share our stunning building with a much larger audience. Being located so close to Tate Britain, we can use our worship space, which is open daily, to offer a vibrant cultural programme that the professional creative artist and the general public can enjoy. We look forward to holding many more events with the BIA and other shows for artists to highlight their work.”

See online to find out more about the British Association of Iconographers or about St Saviours Church, Pimlico.

About Matthew Hall

Matthew Hall was the diocesan Communications Assistant, before going on to become a Franciscan Friar with the Society of St Francis. Matthew seeks to protect the environment. He adores hiking and being outdoor in the country or by the sea in nearly all weather. He dreams of hiking to Rome and Jerusalem.

Read more from Matthew Hall

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