So how did the work of twelve icon diploma graduates end up in the window of L. Cornelissen this month?
It’s hard to pinpoint where this great moment began but my long held love of calligraphy and illuminated manuscripts led me to learn how to gild with Patricia Lovett. We’ve kept in touch over the past 12 years and through mutual friends on social media, I have also to come to know and admire the work of another artist and calligrapher Lin Kerr. Both Patricia and Lin are natural teachers, love colour and their enthusiasm for their art is infectious.
One of the common threads linking us has been Cornelissen’s, home to pigments, gold, gesso and some of the most obscure ingredients for icon painters and artists alike.
Lin had spotted one of my Instagram posts ‘Eccleshall Gold’ on vellum and tipped me off that Patricia was setting up an exhibition ‘Gold on Parchment‘ on behalf of the Heritage Crafts Association, for London Craft Week 2016 at Cornelissen’s. This was to promote work on vellum/parchment following the results of the campaign to keep the acts of parliament recorded on vellum.
Patricia kindly agreed to include both this and ‘Armenian Nativity‘, a piece that I was working on for the icon diploma. The range of work on display demonstrated many of the gilders’ tools and pigments sold inside Cornelissen’s and naturally drew people into the shop. This little icon on vellum seemed to attract quite a bit of interest – possibly the vibrant contrast of the vermillion agains the deep blues? Who knows, but this was the link that led to the current window exhibition by The PSTA‘s icon diploma graduates, only a few months later.
I couldn’t resist following on with two more icons based on an illuminated manuscript – this time the St Albans Psalter, both pigment rich examples.
So this is our last week on show in the heart of London as the display comes down on Friday. It has been an honour and such a blast – thanks from all of us icon graduates to Nicholas Walt and the staff at Cornelissens for our moment of glory in your window and not forgetting Patricia and Lin who were instrumental in making all this happen.
Thanks for reading,