Apr 28, 2018 | 0 comments

Three massive, painted translucent nylon panels will be on public display in Kingston Road United Church until mid-May 2018. These hangings form the sanctuary of the large and imposing exhibition S.S. Giovanni e Giacomo, a commemorative basilica in colour, light and space originally displayed at the regional Art Gallery of Mississauga in 1997. Honouring two special friends, S.S. Giovanni e Giacomo was created by the artist as a shrine to personal memory through the iconic representation of treasured friends, family members and dear ones lost, evoking the Byzantine imagery of Christ Pantokrator. It is a celebration of life and the cycle of relationships that encompasses birth and death.

The icon of Christ Pantokrator was one of the first images of Christ developed in the early Christian Church and is one of the most common images of Orthodox Christianity. In medieval eastern church art and architecture, an iconic mosaic or fresco of Christ Pantokrator occupies the space in the central dome of the church, in the half-dome of the apse, or on the nave vault.

The decision to recreate a sacred space in which to honour loved ones was a natural outcome of the artist’s years living in Italy, and her passion for the great 12th-century Romanesque basilicas of Monreale and Cefalu in Sicily. Deepening the richness of the iconography, each of the people portrayed in the Pantokrator panel selected representative symbols to accompany their image—a text, animal or bird, and a plant, flower or tree.

Framing the central panel are two other imposing panels, Acanthus Flowers with Heads and Figures Entwined with Acanthus Buds, featuring column capital images taken from the Saint-Guilhem Cloisters in the gardens of the Metropolitan Museum Cloisters in New York City.

Elements used: fabrics, findings, heat transfers, stencilling, stitching, beading


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