Christ is Born! Let us glorify Him! We wish you a blessed Christmas and New Year.
As a church artist it is perhaps no surprise that one of my favourite hymns is the following. It speaks of the whole creation praising God and making possible the incarnation of Him who cannot be contained:
What shall we offer Thee, O Christ, Who for our sakes has appeared on earth as man? Every creature made by Thee offers Thee thanks. The angels offer Thee a hymn; the heavens, a star;the Magi, gifts, the shepherds, their wonder; the earth, its cave; the wilderness, the manger; and we offer Thee a Virgin Mother.
I have been particularly aware of this as piece by piece, tessera by tessera, Martin and I have continued work on our two 4.8 metre (16 ft) high mosaic images of the Crucifixion and Resurrection of the Lord. In so doing we are, in our own little way, fulfilling man's priestly and prophetical ministry to make matter even more articulate in the praise of God. Liturgical art is also a mini incarnation. It fashions a cave of human endeavour through which we pray Christ will be born; not in a manger but in people's hearts.
In this Christmas Newsletter I particularly draw your attention to the very important Bethlehem Icon School, which is part of the Bethlehem Icon Centre, and encourage you to lend your support. You can visit their website here. It was founded in 2012 by one of my past students, Ian Knowles. Among other things, it offers to beleaguered Palestinian Christians a two year Diploma course in icon painting, accredited by The Prince's School of Traditional Arts. A visit to Bethlehem in November confirmed to me the importance of its work. You can now donate money or icon books via a charity established in England, The Holy Land Iconography Trust CIO. If you are interested in giving, please have a look at their letter to potential donors and donation form.
2016-2019 ICON PAINTING DIMPLOMA
APPLICATIONS ARE NOW OPEN FOR ENTRY INTO THE 2016-2019 ICON PAINTING DIPLOMA
Deadline for Applications is 1st March
This Diploma course, taught by myself and run by the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, is based on the traditional model of master and apprentice teaching. Instruction will cover all the processes required to create traditional icons in egg tempera, including panel preparation, gessoing, gilding, pigment making, design principles and painting techniques. The practical work of the students will be placed into context through studies of the masterpieces of icon painting and talks on theology and the relationship of iconography to church architecture and worship.
The course is based in Shropshire, and consists of seven three-day sessions a year, with extra practical studies requiring at least a further four hours work a week at home. Last diploma's excellent intake included students from Ireland, Sweden and Germany. If you are interested in finding out more, or applying, please visit my website.
NEW IMAGES OF THE MOSAICS FOR ST GEORGE'S CHURCH, HOUSTON, TEXAS
As I wrote in the last newsletter, in 2014 we received an exciting commission for St George’s Orthodox Church in Houston, Texas. The parish asked for two mosaics, one depicting the Crucifixion and the other The Descent into Hell. Each mosaic is to measure around 4.8 x 3.7 metres (16 x 12 feet) and will be installed in their renovated and expanded church.
Work began on the mosaics at the beginning of 2015 and is progressing well. I hope you enjoy these new photographs of the work in progress. If you missed the images of the mosaic in our previous newsletter, which also included the watercolour designs, you can find it here.
In December, Martin and I were joined by the talented Greek icon painter Vaso Argi who will be helping on the project for the next couple of months.
Vaso Argi with one of the panels she has been working on, from the mosaic of the Resurrection.
DESIGNS FOR A CHOROS
For the past few months I have been a consultant for a cathedral’s restoration. As part of this work I designed a choros chandelier. Thanks to computer technology and the skill of a colleague, Tim Royall, you can see computer generated images of how the choros will look.
INTERVIEW WITH YALE UNIVERSITY RADIO
I was recently interviewed by Christine Hales for Yale University Radio. Anyone interested in having a listen to the interview can do so here.
Aidan Hart Icons
ICONS, CARVING, WALL PAINTING, MOSAIC & CHURCH FURNISHINGS