Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Orthodoxy, an Exhibition in London

In order to mark the Orthodox Easter, the Feast of Feasts, which will be celebrated on the 5th of May, an exhibition is taking place at the Hellenic Centre (15th-17th April 2013), Baker Street, in the centre of London. This exhibition contains exhibits by three artists, three techniques with one subject, i.e. Orthodoxy. The exhibition contains photographic images by Doros Partasides, icons on broken glass by George Papadopoulos and icons on canvas by Eleftherios Foulides.

Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and Great Britain states (in the prologue of the booklet given to all visitors at the exhibition), that: 
“There is no doubting that Art, all art, is influenced by Creation, which is itself the Work of God’s Hands. As the Psalmist exclaims in rapture, ‘O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all, the earth is full of your creatures’ [Psalm 103 (104): 24 NRSV]. This is the beginning of art and has inspired mankind from the beginning of human history.

As is well-known, Art has a very prominent role to play within the life of the Orthodox Church. When one thinks of the Art that has been inspired by the Orthodox Christian Faith, it is perhaps reasonable to immediately think of those magnificent works of art that either adorn or formerly adorned the buildings erected in cities, sanctuaries or monasteries under the patronage of Byzantine Emperors or under their influence and which are today recognised as ‘masterworks’ in the history of world art. It goes without saying that these works have their antecedents – they did not simply ‘drop out of the sky’ – and that Coptic and Armenian Christian art knew of these sources and were influenced by them; just as, in its turn, Byzantine art was itself an influence on art far beyond the confines of its Empire. Its art passed to many of the Balkan states and then further to Kiev and to the Russian principalities that developed into Imperial Russia. By the twenty-first century it is to be found throughout the world and nowadays it is deeply respected, loved and cherished for the message that it conveys (even it this has not always been the case)…”

The three day celebration will end with a lecture on Orthodoxy, given on the 17th of April, 7pm in the Friends Room – Hellenic Centre. The talk will be given by the professional iconographer Aidan Hart.   

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