'It is he who penetrates the heights... it is He who penetrates the depths, He who stretches over the long distance between east and west, He who joins together the immense space between north and south - He it is who calls all men everywhere to the knowledge of the Father'
Irenaeus, Demonstration 34
Icon of the Risen Saviour; showing the patronal saints of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Commissioned for the sanctuary of St John the Wonderworker Orthodox Church, Felixstowe, Suffolk, England. 2004.
'Living or dead, nothing shall separate me from the love of Christ.'
St Edmund is shown in the 'south-east' of the icon because he was King of East Anglia from 856 until 869 when he was martyred by the invading Danes for refusing to renounce his faith. Miracles occurred shortly after his martyrdom and continued when his shrine was founded in the Abbey at Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. St Edmund was patron saint of England until the 14th c., when he was succeeded by St George ...
Feast day 20th November
(For other icons of St Edmund King and Martyr, see 'Saints and Angels' section of Gallery)
St Andrew is shown in the 'north-east' of the icon as he is the Apostle for Scotland. He was the first to recognize Christ - 'Behold the lamb of God' and the 'First Called'. St Andrew was crucified on a saltire cross in AD62 at Patras in Greece and veneration spread across Europe. In the 4th c. some of his relics were taken to Fife in Scotland by St Regulus. St Andrew is also patron saint of Greece and Russia.
Feast day 30th November
St David is shown in the 'south-west' of the icon as he is patron saint of Wales. He was a monk and a priest before becoming an archbishop in the 6th c. and spreading Christianity throughout Wales and beyond. He practised and encouraged asceticism and founded churches and monasteries, including Glastonbury Abbey. The cathedral dedicated to him at St David's houses his relics.
Feast day 1st March
St Patrick is shown in the 'north-west' of the icon as he is the Apostle of Ireland and was Bishop at Armagh from AD435. St. Patrick was enslaved as a shepherd boy but became a 'shepherd of souls' ¤. He introduced Christianity to Ireland and worked as a missionary and teacher, famously explaining the Mystery of the Holy Trinity by means of a three-leafed clover. St Patrick is also believed to have expelled snakes from Ireland.
Feast day 17th March
Christ is represented as the Great High Priest of His Church on earth and in heaven, and wears the robes of a Byzantine bishop.
Private commission, 2006, after the original 15th c. Cretan icon by Andreas Ritzos.
The crown design has been taken from another icon (from Patmos, Greece) at patron's request.
'This is the image in the likeness of which man was created; and this is why our Saviour, who is the Image of God was moved to pity for man who had been fashioned to his likeness. Let us keep our eyes fixed, then, on this image of God, so as to be reformed in his likeness'.
Origen Homily on Genesis
Christ the Saviour, after the original 13th c. icon, Serbian Monastery of Chilander, Mount Athos. Commissioned for St John's Church, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England.
'If sight of the one we love clearly makes us change completely, so that we turn cheerful, glad and carefree, what will the face of the Lord not do as He comes to dwell, invisible, in a pure soul?'
St John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent
Original composition by Helen McIldowie-Jenkins; inspired by the work of Fr.Gregory Kroug. Gesso and linen on elm support,
Painted in memory of Joan and Kenneth McIldowie-Jenkins.
Commissioned as a ‘Remembrance Icon’ for the chapel of the Cathedral School, Llandaff, Cardiff, this image is a copy of the famous 6th c, wax encaustic icon at St. Catherine’s Monastery, Sinai. As a rare surviving example of late Roman and pre-iconoclastic Imperial painting, this icon depicts Christ as Judge and Saviour, holding the book of the Word and with his hand raised in the blessing gesture. The distinct asymmetry of the face is regarded by some (including monks at Sinai) as representing hypostatic union of Christ’s two natures, divine and human; i.e., the ‘hard’ side of Christ the Judge and the ‘soft’ side of Christ the Loving Redeemer.
Tempera and water-gilding on panel
‘Do whatever he tells you’.
Private commission (wedding gift) based on a 14th c Serbian icon. The icon depicts the moment during the wedding feast when the Virgin instructs the servants to obey Christ, upon which he performs the first miracle of his public ministry and turns the water into wine for the guests and thereby ‘saving the best wine for last’ as said by the president of the feast (John 2: 10), who is depicted on the right reaching out to Christ. The figures of the Bride and Bridegroom can be taken as metaphors for the relationship between the Church and Christ. The table is a metaphor for the altar and the eucharistic vessels.
Tempera and mordant gold leaf on panel.
Private commission (anniversary gift). Copy of the famous early 15th c icon at Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery at Goritsy after St. Andrei Rublev. Christ the Righteous Judge and Ruler of All (Pantocrator) is seated upon the Throne of Glory. He appears within an eight pointed star (representative of God) composed from an inner four-pointed green star of seraphim and cherubim nearestto the throne of God and an outer four-pointed red surrounded containing the tetramorph symbols of the Gospels.
Water-gilded, incised background, egg tempera on panel.
Commissioned by the Dean and Friends of Chelmsford Cathedral, this large icon is an original, contemporary composition on the theme of the Living or Revivified Cross. This image was first designed for Station 12 of Stations of the Cross, St Mary's, Attleborough, Norfolk.
The Redemptive imagery of this Crucixion represents the obscure medieval legend of ‘The Green Tree and Dry’. In this legend, the 'rough-hewn' cross, was constructed from the dead wood from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and is brought back to life and bursts into leaf when Christ’s blood falls upon it.
Christ’s body hangs in the graceful, Christus Patiens style of Byzantine and 13th century Italian painted crucifixes, in which the body is stylised to express simultaneously the torture of the crucifixion and the peace of the completed sacrifice. This imagery was probably brought into western art in the 13th century from the Byzantine East by the Franciscans, who recognised how the powerful imagery could be utilised in their affective preaching.
The icon was designed to fit a large oak triptych cabinet - and positioned beneath Mark Caselet's wonderfully inventive and monumental mural of the Tree of Life in the north transept - thus referencing both the Trees in the Garden of Paradise. The theme of Redemption is completed in the transept programme by a superb, large icon of Christ Enthroned in Glory, suspended on the opposite wall and written by Sr Gabriella and her team from St John's Monastery, Essex.
Tulip wood braced panel, 23ct gilding, egg tempera.
'He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgement he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.' (Isaiah 53:7)
Private commission for an Anglican vicar; this icon follows one of the many Russian models for the Blessed Silence. Icons of this mystical subject (along with images of Christ as the Lord Saboaoth, Holy Wisdom etc) are regarded by some as un-canonical because they are representations of the pre-incarnate, Second person of the Trinity - rather than canonically acceptable depictions of the incarnate Christ.
The Blessed Silence icon occurs in Russian icons from the 16th century onwards, possibly inspired by verses in Isaiah (see above) regarded as prefiguring Christ as a silent, sacrificial lamb and a counselling angel, bringer of peace (Is 9:6). The eight rayed, green and red star may be a symbol for the eight days of Creation and Salvation, the eighth day - of the Second Coming - being hidden behind Christ's head, on which he wears a bishop's crown as the 'Great High Priest'. On his collar is a Seraphim and he holds a key, possibly to the Eternal Kingdom.
This icon also reminds us that Silence is a virtue necessary for prayer, obedience, humility, charity and is an attribute of the Angels.
Oak panel, braced and lined, 24 ct burnished and punched water gilding, egg tempera.
'What am I without Love? Love is patient, Love is kind.
Love as I find in the Dove.
Love hanging on a Tree, the Dove spreads his wings around me.'
lyrics by V. Dejean
Painted for the exhibition 'Risen! Art of the Crucifixion and Easteride' in London and venues in Herefordshire, Spring 2013. [download catalogue]
The making process has been deliberately left exposed at the edges to show that this is a modern icon. This large image (90 by 50 cm) of the Crucifixion has late medieval Italian and 19th century Russian influences. It reinterprets a panel, circa1260s, by Bonaventura Berlinghieri (Uffizi, Florence).
The mysterious ‘Y’-shaped Cross, possibly a symbol of the Tree of Life or a conflation with a ‘Furca’ (an antique type of gibbet), was the subject of the iconographer’s MA research at the Courtauld Institute. The blue cross, glazed in lapis lazuli, references the artist’s particular interest in 13th-century Franciscan blue crucifixes from central Italy and Franciscan spirituality. The nails are shown piercing the wrists – not the hands – of the corpus, in accordance with modern understanding of crucifixion methods.The stylised shell gold highlights on the loincloth symbolise the glorified Christ and references the techniques of 18th–19th century Russian master iconographers from Palekh and Mstera.
The concept, title and extract from 1 Corinthians 13:4 are taken from a published song, composed 30 years ago by Victor Dejean.
Linen-lined panel, polished bole, 23 ct burnished and unbunished water gilding , egg tempera (inc lapis lazuli), shell gold.
Your work brought Glory, Joy and Beauty to the Holy Church.
Private commission to the eternal memory of the English Iconographer, Leon Liddament (+2010). Leon was a founder member of the Orthodox Brotherhood of St Seraphim in the pilgrimage village of Little Walsingham, Norfolk, England. For over 40 years, Leon worked with the late Father David (+1993) on many prestigious commissions. Their icons can be seen in several places in the Walsingham area; St Seraphim's Church; the Orthodox Chapel at the Anglican Shrine and the National Roman Catholic Shrine at nearby Houghton St Giles. link to 'Our Lady of Walsingham' There are also a large number of their icons at the Transfiguration Church in Great Walsingham.
Leon’s Studio was beneath the Church of St Seraphim's (the distinctive onion-domed former railway station) in Little Walsingham and St Seraphim's continues its work today as a Charitable Trust, seeking to keep its Orthodox Chapel open for all pilgrims and visitors as a place of worship and mission (http://iconpainter.org.uk/). As the first iconographer and Orthodox church that Helen encountered (c.1983) Leon and St Seraphim's occupy an important place in this iconographer's formation. This crucifix was commissioned for private devotional use and also is used in Anglican Lenten services and events.
Linden wood crucifix, 23 ct burnished gilding, egg tempera
Private commission for public veneration at St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, Southampton, Hampshire, UK. Original design based on 16th century Cypriot iconography for the central image of of Christ the Great High Priest. New images were composed to fit with the commissioner's wishes for the two attendant saints; the well-loved Nicholas of Myra (left) and the modern Saint, Nectarios of Aegina (right) whose repose was in 1920.
Linden wood panel with 23ct burnished water gilding, tempera and shell gold.