Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Icons tell the story

Expand Messages
  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://mymooneevalley.com.au/2007/07/icons_tell_the_story.php Icons tell the story July 31, 2007 11:18 AM By Charmaine Camilleri Divine work: Beryl
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 31 8:21 PM
    • 0 Attachment
      http://mymooneevalley.com.au/2007/07/icons_tell_the_story.php

      Icons tell the story
      July 31, 2007 11:18 AM

      By Charmaine Camilleri

      Divine work: Beryl Georgakopoulos. Picture: Matthew Furneaux

      INSPIRED by a rich cultural heritage, East Keilor artist Beryl
      Georgakopoulos has a passion for painting saints of the Orthodox faith.

      The style of Byzantine iconography, which is 15 centuries old, serves
      as a spiritual medium to preserve the history of icons and events in
      the Orthodox religion.

      ''In the church, you'll see beautiful, big icons,'' Ms Georgakopoulos
      says. ''As a painter in iconography, you're actually telling a story
      of the saint in visual form.''

      Four years ago, Ms Georgakopoulos discovered the art method she
      describes as a rich, spiritual experience.

      ''We pray for the recipient who will eventually own the icon while we
      are painting. It's a very calming and a very spiritual exercise.

      ''Because we are painting the likeness of a saint, someone who
      reached holiness, it becomes a holy act and therefore, there is an
      actual iconographer prayer that we ask God to inspire us while we're
      writing the icon.''

      When a painting is complete, it is taken to a church and blessed. It
      is kept in the church for 40 days under the holy alter and once you
      take it home, it's a blessed item. Once it's blessed, it can't be
      exhibited publicly.''

      All icons, such as the Crucifixion, tell a story and the
      iconographer's key aim is to present that story visually.

      ''In the original paintings, you'll see items that tell the status of
      their martyrdom,'' Ms Georgakopoulos said.

      ''St Catherine is often shown with lovely robes because she was a
      wealthy woman and books are at her side because she was educated.

      ''But then on the other side of her is the wheel on which she became
      a martyr. So when someone looks at the icon, even a young child,
      straight away they've had a mini-history lesson of St Catherine.''

      The materials Ms Georgakopoulos uses to paint include a mix of egg
      yolk, alcohol and powdered pigments, which create an ''incredible
      brilliance'' of earthy colours.

      ''In older times, artists used red oxide from the ground and
      plants,'' she said.

      Rather than a canvas, she creates her own boards made from timber
      covered in linen and painted with a thick, plaster-like liquid called gesso.

      Ms Georgakopoulos, a member of Moonee Valley Painters, has painted
      saints Constantine, Vasilios and Maria as a sign of gratitude to her
      children of the same names.

      ''It has given me an inner joy. It has given me the wonderful feeling
      that I'm passing something on spiritually and permanently to my children.''

      Australia
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.