Friday, January 16, 2015

Centuries-old art tradition resurrected in Holy Land: Bethlehem institute trains Palestinian Christians to produce fine religious iconography, not mass-produced souvenirs

"We want to push the standing of iconography in the Holy Land to the very highest level so this becomes a world center for [the art]." Ian Knowles, director, Bethlehem Icon Center
A Palestinian student at the Bethlehem Icon Center practices drawing and painting an icon of the face of Christ, also known as a mandylion.

BETHLEHEM, West Bank — In an old stone home on Star Street — believed to be the route taken by Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem — a small group of students are practicing to draw and paint an icon of the face of Christ, also known as a mandylion.

The young amateur artists — four women and a man — work diligently, tracing figures on their easels. First comes a large oval, with a line bisecting it, then some shading depicting a swath of hair, but it is only when the eyes begin to take shape that the face becomes familiar.

The Bethlehem Icon Center, the brainchild of Ian Knowles, a 52-year-old British iconographer, is the first institute of its kind in the Palestinian territories to offer intricate knowledge of this ancient craft.

The center has come a long way from its humble beginnings. What started out as a class at a space provided by Bethlehem University soon became a multiroom institute that would help bring the centuries-old tradition back to the Holy Land, specifically to...READ MORE


(A Christmas poem... in Growing Gardens for Palestine: Star Street Bethlehem Palestine 2014)

No comments:

Post a Comment