March 2011 issue of The Saint John's Bible eNewsletter. Are images missing? View the online version.
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A project the size and scale of The Saint John’s Bible would be difficult to complete in a lifetime without a team of able and talented artists and calligraphers. We've featured Diane von Arx, Thomas Ingmire and Chris Tomlin in prior enewsletter issues. This month we highlight the artist responsible for the iconography that can be found throughout The Saint John’s Bible, Aidan Hart. Curious about other members of the team? Click here to read more on our website.

Aidan Hart, Iconographer

I was raised in New Zealand, and in 1983 after becoming a member of the Orthodox Church I returned to live in England, my country of birth. I have been a full-time artist since 1978, first as a sculptor, and then from 1984 primarily as an icon and fresco painter and carver. I feel my calling is to make works that reveal something of life in Christ, that manifest a world transfigured. Icons have been doing this in a very powerful way for almost two thousand years, which is why I have chosen to work in this tradition. Although associated in many people's minds with Byzantium and Russia, the icon tradition, I believe, can again come to be equally at home in the West. I am particularly interested in facilitating this through helping to develop indigenous stylistic expressions of the icon tradition.

Aidan Hart confers with Donald Jackson.
© Michael Freeman, Michael Freeman Photography, London, England

It just happened that at the time Donald was looking for artists to work with on The Saint John's Bible, I was completing eight large works on vellum for an exhibition (an unusual thing, as I generally work to commission). Donald saw these and asked if I could work with him on the project. Why did Donald ask me? Perhaps in part it was because I was specializing in Christian imagery. Also, he wanted the Bible to be the fruit of a community rather than an individual, and to draw inspiration from the eastern as well as western Christian traditions.

Sower and the Seed by Aidan Hart copyright The Saint John’s Bible.
Can be found in Gospels and Acts, Mark.

It has been a joy working on the project for many reasons, not least of which is the communal nature of the project. Sometimes up to four people were directly involved in making an illumination. With the “Parable of the Sower” for example, I painted the main image, but another did the gilding, someone else the lettering, and still another painted the border. And this is not to mention all the others who worked before this stage, such as those who prepared the vellum, the CIT group at Saint John's, and the donors. Under Donald's guidance, The Saint John's Bible has confirmed to me that true newness and lasting originality in sacred art comes not from individualism and egotism, but from a community of people seeking divine inspiration.

In This Issue

• Aidan Hart, Iconographer

• Upcoming Exhibitions & Events

See the Bible

Print Exhibitions

Carroll Art Gallery at Carroll College
Helena, MT
January 10 - March 1, 2011

University of Saint Francis
School of Creative Arts
Fort Wayne, IN
February 28 - April 3, 2011

Find a gallery near you >

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