About

The icons and devotional images featured on this website are the work of professional British artist and iconographer, Helen McIldowie-Jenkins.

 

Since the early 1990s, I have undertaken numerous commissions for cathedrals, churches, organisations and individuals in the UK and US . I am now based in West London.

Clients include Bristol Cathedral, Chelmsford Cathedral, Wymondham Abbey, the English College Rome, the Anglican Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham, the Turf Club, Pall Mall, St Mary’s Harrow on the Hill, Holy Trinity Cuckfield, All Hallows Gospel Oak – and several chapels of the Woodward School Corporation.

Our Lady of Lewisham
Our Lady of Lewisham

 Unlike other icon painters, I mainly specialise in composing ‘new’ and original icons to meet the artistic needs of today’s church in terms of devotional art. The subject matter can range from saints of the early church (where no prototype image exists) to images more appropriate for use within today’s diverse and multicultural faith communities.

In addition, I continue to write archetypal Byzantine and Russian icons and study the tradition, in terms of both art historical and practical research, particularly with the Russian Schools.

I have designed icons and painted in tempera since childhood and have developed my practice with generous help and tuition  from several tutors and experts (mainly in the Russian tradition) and with Orthodox and Roman Catholic spiritual guidance. In the pursuit of my quest to understand icons and the transmission of iconography, I have travelled to many parts of Greece, Istanbul, Moscow and St Catherine’s Monastery, Sinai. My ongoing study of Italian Late Medieval panel painting (specifically 13th -14th century Franciscan painting) continues to take me regularly to central Italy.”

Westminster Abbey

Background In addition to a Fine Art diploma (St Alban’s College of Art & Design) and a fellowship to the Digswell Arts Trust (Fine Art & Ceramics) and a teaching qualification, Helen holds a first class BA Honours degree in Art History and was awarded an MA scholarship by the Edmund J. Safra Foundation to the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. Her MA dissertation investigated an unusual form of 13th century Italian crucifixion iconography.

Helen has worked in museum and adult education environments and currently teaches a History of Art in Late Medieval Italian Painting course for Open Age, a  charity providing courses to the over 50s in North and West London.

In addition, Helen has worked in the London art auction world for many years; formerly as a Cataloguer in the Russian Icons and Work of Art department at MacDougall Arts, a leading Russian art auction house. Helen now works at Christies.

Icon Painting Retreats Helen leads unique residential icon painting retreats annually in Assisi, Italy and Walsingham for small groups. The retreats are suitable for all abilities (beginners and improvers) and provide a comprehensive painting course and pilgrimage experience that have been enjoyed by clients form all over the world.

Please visit the sister website www.iconadventures.co.uk for current availability and further information – or telephone +44 (0) 203 673 6417.

School Residencies & Workshops Helen also provides Icon Painting  Workshops for schools for pupils from Yr 5 upwards, of either half or a full day, as well as longer residencies .  Pupils are provided with the specialist materials and can expect a fun and engaging ‘make & take’ session.  Please email or phone for further information.