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Splendour from Above

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Icons of Angels by Michael Galovic

Exhibition at the Australia Centre for Christianity and Culture, Canberra. 10.30am-3.30pm, March 9th-19th (excluding 12th March)

I met Michael Galovic through an Icon Painting workshop in the mid 1990s. His religious art not only covers a vast range of icons that draw upon his deep understanding and respect for the form from its earliest origins through to the present day, but also covers contemporary work.

Michael’s most recent project has been a very challenging and self-imposed task. Its focus has been primarily on the representation of ‘the Celestial Ranks’, predominantly as shown in Orthodox art. Each of the many wonderful images expresses the profound: non-corporeal beings made manifest. The exhibition also highlights both the meaning and the beauty of the variety of portrayals, whether it be in terms of the images’ backgrounds or in such elements as the stunning array of angels’ wings.

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The icons in the exhibition illustrate a journey that is both geographical and through time. It encapsulates, in one space and time, a ‘Host of Angels’.

His religious art not only covers a vast range of icons that draw upon his respect for the form, but also covers contemporary work

The richness and beauty of the work is truly spectacular – the icon of the Synaxis of Angels illustrates its vibrance and ethereality!

Michael has dedicated a year to the completion of the project – one that needed 50 years practice and deepening of understanding for its making. He has brought alive the beauty and essence of differing traditions and forms for a new audience.

Michael Galovic works on one of his icons at his studio on NSW’s Central Coast. PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

This is a unique exhibition and certainly the first of its kind in Australia. It gathers together a substantial body of work created to explore and show how the almost inexpressible has been portrayed in icons.

To appreciate the beauty and theology of an icon is ultimately to be able to appreciate the immanence of God in creation.

Kerrie’s academic background is in Medieval Studies and education. Her interest in, and respect for, icons began in her mid teens and has continued ever since.


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