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Iconography Retreat


Arrive - 11am on Monday 2 November
Depart - 2pm on Friday 6 November

In recent times Icons have become more widely used and venerated in the western Church. They have a depth and power which draws one into a deeper prayer life. Icons for all their newness in the west are part of the ancient common heritage of our Church. They have always been seen as a means of communication of the Gospel.

It would seem to many that the creation of an icon is a daunting task, especially for those who have no formal artistic training. To give way to those thoughts is to misunderstand our aims. At the end of the course even those who have not painted since leaving school have been able to produce an Icon which is more than acceptable and has surprised them by what they have achieved. No previous experience is needed except that of having a go. Guidance will be given at all stages so that you may be assured that you will produce a satisfactory Icon by the conclusion of the course. There is no expectation of previous skills and therefore those who are complete beginners will be able to conclude this task in a manner that is pleasing.

We will be using the Russian float method to produce our Icons, which is particularly suitable for those who have never painted an Icon or used these traditional pigments. The Icon of Christ Pancreator that we will be using as our exemplar is to be found in the Monastery of St Catherine in Sinai - the original is from the 6th century. We will be following the same practices in the ancient Novogrod School of Iconographers using the traditional materials of 22ct Gold, Earth and Metal pigments on a Linden wood panel covered with marble gesso, prepared by the traditional methods under the supervision of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the Balkans.

We begin each day with prayer as this is a prayer activity teaching us to contemplate at a deep level.

The course is led by the Revd Canon Ian Holdsworth, who before he was ordained trained at Sheffield Polytechnic faculty of Art. Since then he has studied Icongraphy in Serbia, Russia, Italy and many schools in the country.

All equipment, materials and expert tuition are included in the price.

Cost: £400

Earlier Event: October 27
Great is the Mystery of Faith
Later Event: November 25