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The Dialogue Project

An Iconostasis for World Peace

Why I Love Houston Properties was started by Kathlyn Curtis in part by her passion for real estate, however her passions don’t just stop there. Thanks to our community involvement we were able to bring ‘The Dialogue’ a piece of Interfaith art to Houston, Texas from it’s original home in San Miguel de Alllende, Mexico. Continue reading to learn more about this massive collection, the artist, and the themes present in the work.

iconostasis

i·co·nos·ta·sis

/ˌīkəˈnästəsəs/

noun
  1. a screen bearing icons, separating the sanctuary of many Eastern churches from the nave.
Inspired by the classic architectural iconostasis found in Orthodox Churches of Western Europe, The Dialogue, an iconostasis, is a wall covered by icons. It is 11-feet high x 27-feet long set in a curve than can be stepped into.

The Components

The Dialogue is a new iconostasis, a beautiful visual history, created for meditation and prayer, which encourages humanity from all religions to break free from what divides us. The exhibition contributes towards promoting peace on earth and the idea we are all one. Its aim is to align our thinking with that of great teachers and philosophers who have stepped thru the barrier separating humanity from the divine.  Seventeen paintings of Gods and Goddesses are at the top, followed by ten paintings of master teachers. The third tier is forty prayer wheels in forty different languages, all of which read “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”. Lastly, there are seventy archetypal symbols. Three steps ascend to a doorway. Above the doorway is a portrait of planet earth.

The Technique

Using egg as a binder for applying pigments had its beginnings in Byzantine icon paintings of the 4th Century. Egg tempera remained the principal medium for over 1000 years until oil paints came onto the scene. Pigments used were first collected from nature — earth, plants, insects and minerals — then ground. Though most pigments are now manufactured, the basic technique described here would be the choice of medium used on The Dialogue.

The spontaneously created beauty of one layer is temporarily lost by the application of another layer of transparent color. Yet, with enough layers, new forms arise and each one is richer and deeper in quality because of the earth pigments. The icon image is born in the first inscribed lines, then as transparent thin layers of color are molded, modified, changed and aged, the history of the under painting is revealed.

The Artists

Mary Jane Miller is a fulltime artist iconographer of over 25 years, and currently lives in San Miguel de Alllende, Mexico. She paints and teaches the ancient Byzantine style art of Icon writing as a prayer form. Her understanding of its spiritual symbologic language and her dedicated skill result in an experience that is deeply meditative as well as artistic. She teaches using traditional medium of egg tempera and gold leaf.

Valentin Gomez is a skilled technician of Repousse. He has become a master at tooling the pewter, embellishment and trim for the paintings. The metal is cold and shiny and contrasts greatly with the ground stone of egg  tempera. The two mediums along with natural wood armature are organic. The whole installation will one day decompose and return to the earth where it came from.

Available for Viewings

The Dialogue (art piece) is currently house here in Houston at the Turkish Cultural Center in partnership with The Dialogue Institute. 

Contact Kathlyn Curtis for information
on hosting an educational event.
(713) 376-3011
kat@whyilovehouston.com

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