Symbolism of the Iconostasis ?

Altarpiece – the new  ICONOSTASIS
The altar is where we come to perform a ritual, to honor something which is greater than ourselves. Themed on religion, an  altarpiece refers to a piece of artwork, placed on or behind the altar of a Christian Church. It stands like a frame behind the altar for the purpose of education and adornment.

Architectural structure of the  ICONOSTASIS

The Dialogue project was inspired by the classic architectural feature found in most Orthodox Churches of Western Europe.  Traditionally, the iconostasis is a wall covered by icons situated to separate the sanctuary from the sacred nave… The iconostasis is the unbroken wall of multiple icons layered in tiers, from floor to ceiling, stacked in layers one upon another. It is a beautiful visual history book in pictures, available to the community for meditation and prayer. The wall or screen of images represents a mystical location within the church for transformation. These icon screens have affected Christian spirituality for the past 1,500 years.

The Sanctuary  behind the Iconostasis

The sanctuary is the physical place where congregates gather to see the iconostasis. The space behind the screen is called the nave and it symbolizes spiritual space. The relationship between the two is symbiotic; the visible world (physical) enlightened by the invisible (spiritual).

I honor my eighteen year practice of Christian spirituality, this very foundation allows me to explore and at times, integrate concepts and images from other cultures and religions. The new iconostasis  here was a surprising outgrowth of modern and unorthodox creativity which has allowed me to share my quest for the common threads within world religions and their spiritual practices. Working with so many Images have been an exploitative challenge and delight.

Although I am a Christian, in this work, I seek to honor all people throughout history who seek to know truth, beauty, peace and love. I believe in ” the potential”,  for remembering our created capacity for knowing a higher, more knowledgeable order which is inherent in all human life. We have to ask again, what is an ICONOSTASIS

Since childhood, I have always felt the presence of something “other”

and it is to this presence that I dedicate this altar. This “other” has been called by various names: Allah, God, The Great Spirit, the unknowable known, the Secret Absolute, The Divine Spark etc. Call it whatever you choose,  the message is to seek that which  is “other” and love it.

6 Replies to “Symbolism of the Iconostasis ?”

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