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BIOGRAPHY OF AIDAN HART

Aidan was born in England in 1957 and grew up in New Zealand. There he worked as a full-time sculptor for a number of years after completing a degree in English literature and a Diploma in Secondary Education teaching. In 1983 he became a member of the Orthodox Church, returned to live in England, and began to work as a professional iconographer. While continuing to work as an iconographer, from 1988 to 2000 he tested his vocation as a monk, including spending a total of two years on Mount Athos and six as a hermit in Shropshire, UK. This intense life of prayer had a profound effect on his work. He is now married with two children, his best icons yet.

To meet the liturgical needs of the churches commissioning him, over the past thirty years Aidan has gained extensive experience in a wide range of media: egg tempera panel painting; fresco; mosaic; stone and wood carving; illuminated manuscript painting; church furniture design.

Training others in liturgical arts has also been part of his work. In 2009 he founded and still teaches the part-time Icon Certificate programme for The Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts.  In 2012 Aidan was joined in his studio by the highly gifted artist, Martin Earle (www.martinearle.com). Since then, Martin has worked with Aidan on subsequent major projects, as well as on his own commissions. In 2018 the equally gifted Dr James Blackstone (www.dunstanicons.com) joined Aidan’s studio as an apprentice.

To meet growing demand (he has over 1200 commissioned works in private and church collections in over 25 countries of the world) and to help execute his designs for church furnishings, Aidan also works with a team of highly skilled craftspeople, including cabinetmakers, blacksmiths, and foundries.

In demand as a writer, lecturer and teacher, he has had numerous articles published on the subjects of iconography, ecology and Orthodox spirituality. In 2015 he was elected a Fellow of the Temenos Academy.

Aidan has published two books, “Techniques of Icon and Wall Painting”, the most extensive work on the subject, and “Beauty Spirit Matter”, a collection of essays, both published by Gracewing. He is currently working on a third book, ‘The History and Meaning of Festal Icons’, due to be published in 2021.