Articles & Programmes

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RECENTLY ADDED VIDEOS AND RADIO PROGRAMMES


Interview with Fr James Shadid on the Houston mosaics


RECENTLY ADDED ARTICLES


Hand and Machine: Making Liturgical Furnishings

A tool in the hand of a craftsperson is an extension of their body, mind and soul. He or she feels the resistance of the stone or wood. Through the tool the material speaks back to them, and they adjust accordingly as they work. There is a dialogue conveyed through the tool…

But what happens when we replace the tool with a machine or some form of technology? How does such mechanisation change the final work, when that intimate connection of the craftsperson and material has been lessened, or even severed? Can the hand and heart keep master of the making?

 
 
 

Lighting in Orthodox Churches, liturgical principles and some practical ideas

What are we aiming to achieve when we choose lighting for an Orthodox church? We need a certain amount of light to see, but lighting also creates an ambience, helps to create an inner state. So what ambience are we seeking to create in our churches? These and other questions face parishes and monasteries when they grapple with what electric lighting to install – if indeed any at all, for so often ‘less is more’…

 
 

Today and Tomorrow: Timeless principles in the training of future Romanian iconographers

A talk given in Oxford on 27th February 2015 at  Kellogg College, Oxford.  The growing demand for icons, both in Romania and elsewhere, requires more good iconographers, and also the means of training them. This talk therefore suggests some answers to the following questions: What should this training aim for? What theological and aesthetic principles make for a well painted icon? 

Click here to download article in Adobe reader PDF format


The Icon Tradition from Within
This article is adapted from a talk given for the Temenos Academy in London. By way of illustrating the theological vision behind the icon tradition,  Aidan describes his own artistic journey.
 

Liturgical Art in Britain Today

Aidan was invited  back to Lincoln Cathedral in November 2015, on the Feast of St Hugh, to give a talk to the College of Canons. The talk reflects on the genesis and the carving of Our Lady of Lincoln (which now sits at the east end of the cathedral), as well as the future of liturgical art in Britain.

Click here to download article in Adobe reader PDF format 

 


Painting an Icon of a Contemporary Saint

Icons depict people who are full of the Holy Spirit. These saints are radiant with the same divine glory seen by Peter, James and John when Christ was transfigured. But how does an iconographer paint an icon of a contemporary saint of whom photographs exist and affirm both visible and invisible realities? This interview with Aidan was published in an article by David Clayton on the website “The Way oF Beauty”.

Click here to download article in Adobe reader PDF format 

Click here to read the original article with pictures


The Gospel Through Beauty

A talk given at the conference  ‘Eastern Christian Thought and Practice for 21st Century Europe’ organised by the the Theotokos Institute for Catholic Studies. The subject of the talk was liturgical beauty, especially the beauty of the icon, and the role it can play in drawing people closer to Christ, both in worship and in mission.

Click here to download article in Adobe reader PDF format 


ARCHIMANDRITE ZENON: His Life and Work

An article commissioned by the Orthodox Arts Journal about the eminent Russian icon painter of our times, Archimandrite Zenon. The article contains many useful links to websites with images of his work and also to videos that show him painting. Probably the longest article about Father Zenon that exists in the English language. 

Click here to read the article online

Click here to download the article in PDF format (currently without images)


The Annunciation Icons and Wrought Iron Screen for St Michaels and All Angels, Bedford Park, Chiswick.

Finally installed in September after nine months of labour, this massive hand wrought iron screen measures 3.3 x 2.7 metres ( 11 x 9  ft). It was hand-forged by master blacksmith Frazer Picot of Shropshire, and was designed by Aidan Hart. It is probably the largest hand wrought screen of this complexity to have been made for a church in Britain for decades. It bears a large icon of the Archangel Gabriel, paired with another icon of the Virgin placed on the other side of the sanctuary which together form the Annunciation.

For further explanation of the icons’ and screen’s meaning, click here to download an article in PDF format.

 


ICONS IN THE MODERN WORLD: Insights into contemporary issues in modern art, ecology and community

Humanity was created to go on a journey from Paradise towards the New Jerusalem. But when a culture aims at a utopia, its art, ecology and community life suffer the consequences. This talk, given in Austin, Texas,  considers what insights the icons of the Transfiguration and Pentecost can offer us to help us regain our bearings

Click here to download article in Adobe reader PDF format


RENEWAL OF THE SACRED: Timeless Principles and Contemporary Challenges

A talk given at St. Mary’s University College in Calgary, Canada in May 2013, which outlines the theological basis of liturgical art and discusses some of the theological and practical challenges facing its development in the Catholic, Anglican and Orthodox Churches.

Click here to download article in Adobe reader PDF format .

 


“THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS” BY C.S. LEWIS: Parallels with the Ascetic teaching of the Orthodox Church by Aidan Hart

 A talk given to the C.S. Lewis Society at Peusy House, Oxford, U.K.,March 7th, 2000.  Click here to download article in Adobe reader PDF format


ICONS AND THE SPIRITUAL ROLE OF MATTER by Aidan Hart

An article written for the Vatican newspaper “l’Osservatore Romano”, appearing December 2011.
Click here to download article in Adobe reader PDF format


ADVENT AND TRANSFIGURATION: God’s descent and man’s ascent by Aidan Hart

A talk given by Aidan Hart on 27th November 2011, at All Saints Anglican Church, Baschurch, Shropshire.
Click here to download article in Adobe reader PDF format


New Book “Techniques of Icon and Wall-painting” by Aidan Hart

The most comprehensive book to date on the techniques of icon and wall painting. 460 pages, with over 450 colour illustrations and 160 drawings. 227mm x 278mm. Hard cover, £40. BUY YOUR SIGNED COPY NOW For more information and to preview book.


WALL PAINTINGS AND MOSAICS IN CONTEMPORARY CHURCHES: Theological principles determining their subject matter and placement by Aidan Hart

A talk given in Belgrade, 2011, which outlines principles to keep in mind when designing and making contemporary mosaics and wall paintings.
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THE MOTHER OF GOD IN FESTAL ICONS: Theology in colour and form by Aidan Hart

A talk given for “The Friends of Athos” Conference, Madingley Hall, Cambridge, 26th February, 2011. It looks at the theology implicit in all the festal icons that include the Mother of God, drawing on the witness of liturgical texts, patristic teaching and the Scriptures.
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BEAUTY AND THE GOSPEL by Aidan Hart

This article has been published both in “Epiphany Journal” (USA) and “Second Spring” (U.K.). It attempts to describe a theological understanding of beauty, based on the five unions effected by Christ as described by St Maximus the Confessor. The inspiration is to find a new way of communicating the love of God to a secular culture through using divine beauty as the dominant image, rather than legal or moralistic terminology.
Click here to download article in Adobe reader PDF format


SACRED ICONS by Aidan Hart

This text is from a catalogue of an exhibition of new and old icons. It explains the basic theology and use of icons for a readership unacquainted with them.
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ICONS OF THE 20TH CENTURY by Aidan Hart

This is a talk given in 2000. It gives an overview of the situation at the turn of the century, and describes the contribution made by key twentieth century iconographers in reviving the traditional iconographic style. It then discusses some of the challenges facing iconographers in the coming decades.
Click here to download article in Adobe reader PDF format


CELTIC, ANGLO-SAXON AND ROMANESQUE ICONOGRAPHY by Aidan Hart

This is a talk given in 1997 to an Orthodox arts group. Its premise is that the icon tradition is a living rather than a copyist’s one, and as such it responds to the culture from which it arises. As a basis for the natural development of iconography in the west this article traces the main influences which produced three of the main iconographic traditions of western Europe, namely the Celtic, Anglo Saxon and Romanesque.
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CHRISTIANITY AND SACRED ART TODAY by Aidan Hart

A talk given at Hillsdale College, USA, in 2005. It identifies the main features of the icon tradition and then discusses how contemporary art can be renewed if it returns to the role of art as mediator between a higher, divine realm and our own.
Click here to download article in Adobe reader PDF format


TRANSFIGURING MATTER – ICONS AS A PARADIGM OF CHRISTIAN ECOLOGY by Aidan Hart

A talk given in Oxford in 1998. It discusses how the making and use of icons reveals the Orthodox Church’s understanding of how we were intended to relate to the material world. The talk considers this using “the classical images of prophet, king and priest. Another way of expressing these roles is to say that we were created to be the poets, artists and musical conductors of the cosmos.”
Click here to download article in Adobe reader PDF format


ICONOGRAPHY OF THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY by Aidan Hart

Two consecutive talks given in 2005 at Cambridge. The first briefly discusses the spiritual and practical challenges facing iconography (and church architecture) in the 21st century e.g. we have unprecedented access to icons through books and travel, but how do we digest this plethora of information? The second states: “If the Orthodox Church is to fulfil its calling in the twenty-first century it must gain prophetical, intelligent, sympathetic insight into the art and culture of the West.” It suggests ways certain non-liturgical art can reflect spiritual truth.
Click here to download article in Adobe reader PDF format


ICONS AND THE MATERIAL WORLD by Aidan Hart

This talk given in Iona, Scotland, outlines the role in our spiritual life played by the material world and our bodies. It begins with life in paradise before the fall and passes through all the great salvific events, showing how these affected the cosmos and our relationship with it.
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THE ICON AND PASTORAL CARE by Aidan Hart

This article discusses the healing role of icons in our times. Drawing mainly from personally known instances of blessing and healing brought to people through icons, the article shows how these sacred images can help us pass from being isolated individuals to becoming persons in relationship with God, one another, and the world around.
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PRINCIPLES OF ORTHODOX CHURCH ARCHITECTURE by Aidan Hart

This article aims to identify the timeless principles that underly traditional Orthodox churches, in the hope that these will help develop an indigenous Orthodox architecture in non-Orthodox countries. This is a paper given in 2003 at the foundation of the contemporary Orthodox Church Architecture Group, and has also been published in the online journal of Hexaemeron (http://www.hexaemeron.org/htms/newsletter_ss07_hart.htm).
Click here to download article in Adobe reader PDF format


THE SACRED IN ART AND ARCHITECTURE: TIMELESS PRINCIPLES AND CONTEMPORARY CHALLENGES by Aidan Hart

This talk given in Cambridge in 2005 outlines some of the fundamental principles of sacred art and architecture; without understanding these sacred art descends into mere copying. The article then goes on to discuss ways in which non-liturgical art – “gallery art” – can, at its best, overlap with many of the aims of overtly sacred art. It then outlines some of the challenges that face contemporary art, both sacred and secular.
Click here to download article in Adobe reader PDF format


CHURCH WALL PAINTINGS AND MOSAICS: PRINCIPLES OF THEIR ARRANGEMENT AND RELATIONSHIP TO ARCHITECTURE by Aidan Hart

A seminar given in 2003 in London, this shows how wall paintings, as with all genuine sacred art, forms part of a seamless liturgical whole, particularly in this case with the church’s architecture. It shows how different parts of a traditional church are ideally suited for particular scenes and personages.
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CONSTANTIN BRANCUSI by Aidan Hart

An article printed in Second Spring. Brancusi, a Rumanian, is considered the founder of modern abstract sculpture. This article discusses the influences of his Orthodox roots on his sculpture and thought.
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NEW ART: OLD ICONS by Aidan Hart

A lecture given at the Shrewsbury Art Gallery and Museum, 2003. In contrast to Post-modernism, most early modern art was an attempt to return art to its spiritual roots. The talk identifies general characteristics of the icon which can inspire a renewal of the spiritual in art, chiefly that art can mediate between ourselves and a higher realm.
Click here to download article in Adobe reader PDF format


ICONS AND MODERN ART by Aidan Hart

Notes for a talk at Bear Steps Gallery, Shrewsbury, 2004. A brief assessment of Western art movements from the point of view of the philosophy behind the icon. Ends with quotes from a number of leading 20th century artists showing the spiritual basis of their work.
Click here to download article in Adobe reader PDF format


INTERVIEW BY DAVID CLAYTON by Aidan Hart

A brief interview which formed the basis of an article in The Tablet, on creativity in iconography and what the tradition might say to Western art.
Click here to download article in Adobe reader PDF format


THE ICON AND ART by Aidan Hart

A talk given at the School of Economic Science, Waterperry, Oxford, 7 March, 2000. Describes the theology and stylistic features of the icon, and then suggests two forms of art – threshold art and the art of compassion – which though not liturgical in their function nevertheless share many of the icon’s aims.
Click here to download article in Adobe reader PDF format


THE ICON AND THE HUMAN PERSON by Aidan Hart

This article (a talk given at Iona, Scotland in 2000) considers what it means to be in God’s image.
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WHERE ARE WE GOING: A SPIRITUAL ANATOMY by Aidan Hart

This outlines the three stages of the spiritual journey, describes the various faculties of the human person, and finally, the basic elements of how temptations come to us and how we can rebuff them.
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ICONS AND MODERNITY by Aidan Hart

This describes the main elements of the icon tradition, highlighting those which cast some light on modern art. It identifies the chief elements in two early modernists, Brancusi and Matisse, which accord with the icon tradition. 
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A HISTORY OF THE EARLY CHURCH OF THE BRITISH ISLES by Aidan Hart

This thirty-one page article tells the story of the church in the British Isles for the first thousand years after Christ. It draws on contemporary sources, archaeological discoveries, and modern scholarship. 
Click here to download article in Adobe reader PDF format


SAINT THEODORE OF TARSUS: ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY by Aidan Hart

This remarkable man was a Greek from Tarsus of Cilicia, almost certainly studied in Antioch and Constantinople, later lived as a monk in Rome where he was probably involved with Saint Maximus the Confessor in the Lateran Council, and eventually became one of the most important Archbishops of Canterbury .
Click here to download article in Adobe reader PDF format


GILDING TECHNIQUES by Aidan Hart

A detailed description of the techniques and materials needed for water gilding, oil mordant gilding and assist…
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THE PAIN OF THE EARTH by Aidan Hart

A talk given in Minsk, Belarus, May 2001, at the European Council of Churches Christian Environmental Network Conference. This is an outline of Orthodox theology as it reflects on ecology. If we are acting wrongly in our relationship to the earth, it is because we are thinking wrongly.
Click here to download article in Adobe reader PDF format


PROGRAMMES AND TAPES

Below are given links to radio interviews involving Aidan, which you can download and listen to, and also details of tapes of talks he has given that can be bought.


A 26 minute interview with Aidan on the national Radio New Zealand.


“Icons as prayer without ceasing”: a lecture given at the Institute of Orthodox Christian Studies, University of Cambridge.

*Video:icons as prayer without ceasing


Interview with Christine Hales for Yale University Radio.

Please click here to listen.


email: mail@aidanharticons.com | phone: +44 (0)7910 246774
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