Narthex Murals at St John of the Ladder

Introduction This article is the second in a series documenting the mural project at St John of the Ladder Orthodox Church in Greenville, South Carolina. This beautiful temple was designed by Andrew Gould. The previous article presented the murals in the two smaller rooms adjacent to the church’s sanctuary. Here, I will present the recently…

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‘Being’, The Art and Life of Father Sophrony

Archimandrite Sophrony, painting Christ at the Last Supper, early 1980s, the Monastery of St John the Baptist, Refectory.[1]  Image: ©The Stavropegic Monastery of Saint John the Baptist, Essex.   Editorial note: This is the second part of a series on the artistic path and iconographic legacy of Saint Sophrony (Sakharov) as seen through a collection…

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The Nature of Divine Beauty

A Tough Love Many are drawn to the beauty of icons. But clearly this beauty is of a different order than, say, that of a Greek statue, or of a Renaissance painting. Icons are liturgical objects, created for prayer, a means of communion with the Lord. So what are some of the characteristics of divine…

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Sacred Art in Secular Terms

Last year I was invited to speak at the Northwest Catholic Family Education Conference.  The event was going to be quite open to the public and was dealing with the notion of Truth, the truth seen in different walks of life.  I was asked to speak about the truth in art and discuss my own…

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Making Art with an Axe

As we have just passed through the season of Theophany, I have been brought to ponder what Theophany means for art, especially liturgical art. The icon of Theophany offers much to reflect upon as we gaze at the elements it brings together. Just as in our lives and in the world, in the making of Christian…

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The Robot, the Mutant and The Artist

[1]One of the weaknesses in our vision of the world is that we tend to look at what surrounds us from one side of an opposition.  This is inevitable as humanity’s existence unfolds like a wheel, waxing and waning, pulled by opposite forces from extreme to extreme.   These extremes feed each other, call each other…

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The Transfiguration in Shadow.

Last year I was asked by a patron to carve a large icon of the Transfiguration.  She said: “I am curious to see how you will do that.”  I understood immediately what she meant, and her comment for me went to the core of what icon carving attempts to grapple with.  So much of Orthodox theology, especially since St-Gregory of Palamas…

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Sacred Symbol, Sacred Art

In February of this year I was invited by King’s University College to give a talk in their Veritas Series on faith and culture.  The theme of this year’s series was “Speaking about God” exploring the different ways we express and address the Divine. I developed my talk in the context of the many discussions…

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A Cloisonné Enamel Reliquary Icon of Saint Vincent of Zaragoza

Editor’s note:  This article continues Aidan Hart’s recent article about a reliquary for Saint Vincent of Zaragoza and details Christabel Anderson’s process for making the cloisonnée icon.   This article contains a background to the history and technique of cloisonné enamel and a description of the processes used in making the cloisonné enamel icon plaque of Saint Vincent…

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