The Artos society (Russia) ( saints.artos.org/en/ )the "Saints of the undivided church" project. The task for
the artists was to create iconography for saints who have lived up to the Great Schism (1054) and who are
honoured by both the Western and the Easter Churches. Emphasis was put on the saints of Western Europe
for whom iconography is either rare or non-existent in the Eastern tradition. 150 iconographers from 14
countries participate in this project. The created icons will be exhibited to several European countries and Russia.
In this project I take part with the icon of Saint Fermin,
the first bishop of Amiens. While reseraching the Saint,
I did not intend to show
the well known celebration of Saint Fermin and the Running of the Bulls of
but wanted to depict the Saint as a fervent follower of Christ, a deeply
faithful man and missionary, who fulfilled
and lived the evangelical message.
Icons painted using Latvian pigmentsA wish and a dream have been fulfilled – to paint an icon with pigments
sourced here in Latvia.
When reading about different iconography schools, it was exciting to find
out that one of the features differentiating them, is colouring. That is pigment
that iconographs of a particular region could source and use for painting.
This idea was captivating, and I wanted to apply it in my work as well. What
would an icon be like if it would be painted only with pigments sourced in Latvia?
This vision has become true thanks to Faculty of Geography and Earth Sciences
of the University’s of Latvia pilot project “Rust Earth Colour” (www.rustearth.lv/eng/),
its scientific director and researcher of natural mineral pigments, Aigars Kokins,
who researched how to turn earth colours into pigments, ochres of diverse tonalities.
In Latvia the earth contains various iron oxide minerals possible to turn into high
quality shades of red and brown pigments.
Icons of St. John of Riga and Christ are created using natural Latvian mineral pigments,
Latvian earth colours.
For now, white paint is used for the white pigment since white clay and chalk found in
Latvian earth are not suitable for painting. However, there is a plan to try utilizing burnt chalk.