Australia’s CathNews reports on Leonard Brown, an Orthodox priest, winning his nation’s top award for religious art. The Sydney Morning Herald has some images, including a close-up, as well as a more in-depth story.
Fr Brown also draws icons. These works are not submitted for human judgment:
When I am working liturgically, I am like a scribe in an ancient scriptorium transcribing a scripture. There are things which cannot be altered. Ego has to be left at the door.
And what of his award-winning abstract painting, If You Put Your Ear Close, You’ll Hear it Breathing? Fr Brown refers to these and similar works as “my own personal poetry.” This personal dimension, however, are not devoid of rootedness in faith:
As a Christian, my references are within that dimension where pure abstraction is a familiar, where the ideas of emptiness and the metaphoric going into the desert to find God are pursued.
Interestingly, he draws a connection between contemporary art traditions and the tradition of iconography.
Modernism was one of the great contributions Russian emigres who fled during the time of the Russian Revolution injected into Western art.
And what of those who encounter his “personal” work?
I hope they feel something of life, an affirmation of being, which is a primary spiritual sensibility.
Have a look. What do you think? The portion on the right is a close-up of the award-winning work, displayed on the left.