United Dioceses of Dublin & Glendalough



Christ Church Cathedral To Host 'Icons in Transformation'

The work of celebrated Russian-born, Sweden-resident artist, Ludmila Pawlowska will be highlighted at a major exhibition in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin from Thursday 11 June to Sunday 19 July 2009.  The exhibition will be the only Irish stop on an international tour that takes in Cathedrals and Churches throughout Europe including venues in Scandinavia, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.

During the exhibition the Cathedral will be transformed with the hanging 12 monumental works entitled "your face I am looking for" between the pillars in the nave. Visitors to the Cathedral will also be able to view approximately 100 contemporary art work by Ludmila inspired by Icons and around 25 traditional Russian Icons from the workshop of the Vassilevsky Monastery in Suzdal and the workshop of Danilov Monastery in Moscow. According to Ludmilla, "Christ Church Cathedral is a beautiful and perfect space for such an exhibition where a spirit of icons is mixed with a contemporary approach; we use floor, walls and roof for different art technique which will be presented: icons, paintings, sculpture, installation, photography and slideshow with projectors."

Ludmila was drawn to Icons following the death of her mother. She recalled, "I have been able to work through sorrow with help of my painting. This short step between life and death sharpened my awareness of the existential issues of life and my subjects took on an ethereal aspect and has been inspired of Russian icon tradition. In my art I also use the icon symbolism of colours  - especially: Blue, as the colour of the sky/Heaven – the mystery of divine life. Red is firstly the symbol of life – the life that Christ gave humanity through the shedding of his blood. Gold, the divine light – not regarded as a colour but as a form of light. What fascinates me most in the art of icons is the deep sensitivity they radiate. When I am looking at an icon I am irresistibly attracted."

The exhibition has received very positive reviews on its tour to date. At its most recent exhibition in Hereford, the Hereford Times (2 February 2009) described it as "unique and unmissable" and "dramatic and intriguing"
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The Dean of Christ Church, the Very Revd Dermot Dunne said, "we're very excited that the Icons in Transformation Exhibition will be visiting Dublin and Christ Church Cathedral this summer. Icons are of course, most strongly associated with Eastern Orthodox Christianity including its Greek, Russian and Romanian traditions. I think it's particularly apt that Christ Church hosts this exhibition as the Cathedral's foundation dates back to around 1030 and therefore pre-dates the Great Schism in 1054 that separated Western from Orthodox Christianity. In bringing Icons in Transformation to Christ Church we are not only displaying these magnificent works of art and devotion to the people of Dublin but we are also bridging a millennium-long gap between Eastern and Western Christianity."

The exhibition will be officially opened by playwright, novelist and poet, Sebastian Barry on Wednesday 10 June. As part of the month-long exhibition, on Saturday 27 June there will be a series of lectures on Icons in Liturgy and Culture. Speakers will include Fr Gregory Collins, Tim Thurston of Lyric FM and Dr Sarah Smyth of the Department of Russian and Slavonic studies in Trinity College Dublin.

The exhibition is being assisted by NORDEN - the Nordic Arts Council.

Entrance to the exhibition will be included in the admission price to the Cathedral (Adult: €6 Seniors €4 Students €3). Entrance to the Cathedral for prayer, whether during services or otherwise, is free.

Ludmila and Dean Dermot Dunne
Ludmila and Dean Dermot Dunne
Ludmila Pawlowska, Artist
Ludmila Pawlowska, Artist

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