Yorgos was selected as the glass artist to represent Cyprus at the European Glass Context 2016 in Bornholm, Denmark. He chose to submit ‘Mary of the Sweet Kiss III’ as his entry for the curated exhibition.
Like most Greeks, Yorgos grew up in two visual traditions. On the one hand, a Western one, where novelty was at a premium. On the other, the Orthodox tradition, which valued conformity above everything. It’s an artistic challenge to reconcile these two and the New Icon Series is Yorgos’s answer to that.
After a retreat on Mount Athos some years ago he realised that glass was the ideal medium for the purpose. Icons aren’t just images of holiness. They are holy, sometimes even acheiropoieton – made by saints, untouched by human hand. Icons have always been seen as windows between the human and divine worlds. Glass is the perfect medium for this purpose. Because it is both transparent and capable of bearing an image, a revelation and a mystery.
Abstraction – seeing reality in a non-realist way – is part of the iconic tradition. This is why, for instance, icon-makers don’t do perspective. Nor naturalistic portraiture. ‘Mary of the Sweet Kiss III’, modelled after the ‘glykophilousa’, depicts the Virgin both as Theotokos – Mother of God – and as woman. She is eternal, but also mortal. She is unchanging, but capable of change.
About European Glass Context
European Glass Context 2016 is part of a biennial symposium for European contemporary glass and ceramics on the island of Bornholm in Denmark. Its aim is to organise exhibitions, workshops, master classes and lectures. It gives an opportunity to discuss and present the best of contemporary European glass today. ECG has a desire to promote the disciplines and trades of glass art in Europe.
The organisation of European Glass Context is in the hands of Bornholm Art Museum, The Royal Danish Academy, School of Design Bornholm and Grønbechs Gård.
See below some images of the art exhibition at Bornholm Art Museum organised by European Glass Context 2016.