Motto for the exhibition was written by Henri Matisse after his visit to Moscow in 1911:

“Yesterday I saw a collection of old Russian icons. This is truly great art. I am quite taken by iconic paintings: I have only one thought in my head, and now we run, day in and day out, to monasteries, churches and the various collections. I am in love with their touching simplicity… The artist’s soul emerges in these icons like a mystical flower. It is through them that we should learn to understand art. The Russians have no idea what treasures they possess. I have seen artwork from the churches of many different countries, but nowhere have I met such powerful expression, such a feeling of mystery… everywhere the same luminosity and devotion….”

How am I inspired by almost 1000 years of tradition and what the icon stands for?  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.  Looking into the eyes of Maria’s icon feels like an encounter with the unknown and boundless deep.   Something awakens inside me – I can just be quiet, just lose myself in it’s depth, just listen…  an unexpected insight can flow through me – an impulse, a god’s presence is there.  Quiet but present.
I am a member of an orthodox church where the icon has a central place in liturgy.  For me it means a link with my culture, my heritage and a guide to a new direction in my creative process.
My work starts with a process by painting layer upon layer on a wooden panel.  This is a technique which is similar to a thousand years of traditional icon painting.  In my art I also use the icon symbolism of colours  – especially:

Blue, as the colour of the sky – the mystery of divine life.
Red is firstly the symbol of life – the life that Christ gave humanity through the shedding of his blood. Sometimes red can also have the opposite meaning and symbolize evil.
Gold, the divine light – not regarded as a colour but as a form of light.

Today we dare to approach holiness in a completely different way; religion is more open to personal interpretation.  For this exhibition ‘Icons in Transformation’ I have been working with different techniques: painting, installation and sculpture using collage.  Here I am already bending the rules which define a traditional icon.  Even though the motive, form and composition in my work departs from (or violates) tradition, it is the point from which I beginning to push the boundaries.  The icon has a spiritual power which comes from the icon itself, a kind of light.  To create and capture a light has always been the most difficult and greatest challenge to artists through the centuries.
This exhibition is my attempt to capture it in my own way.

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