Skip to main content

Painting in Gold: An Exhibition of Ancient and Contemporary Icons

Macquarie University Art Gallery

Finished June 10th 2011

Curator: Dr Ken Parry - Department of Ancient History, Macquarie University


This exhibition will highlight the work of contemporary iconographers working in Australia as well as showing older icons from various collections. A wooden iconostasis has been built for the exhibition which will dis- play icons painted by Deacon Leonithas Ioannou, an iconographer from Melbourne. Among the works on display are icons by Leonard Brown, the Blake Prizewinner for 2010 who paints icons in the Russian style. The Blake Prize, which is named after the famous English painter and visionary William Blake (1757-1827), is awarded annually by the Blake Society for a religious work of art. It is a prestigious prize and Leonard Brown’s winning entry was for an abstract painting, so it will perhaps surprise visitors to the exhibition to see that he is also a fine icon painter. Not only are there icons on display but there is also a video installation of Orthodox art by Michael Karris. Visitors will also be able to see a Byzantine gold diadem dated to the 12th century which has recently been acquired by Macquarie University’s Museum of Ancient Cultures as well as Orthodox liturgical vestments.


In recent years several Australian- born iconographers have emerged who have begun to incorporate clearly Australian and indigenous elements into their work. This is an exciting

development because historically different Orthodox cultures have over time developed their own distinctive iconographic traditions. A workshop on icon painting will be held at the Art Gallery on Friday 6th May and will be directed by Deacon Leonithas Ioannou. As places are limited those wishing to attend should book early to avoid disappointment.


The curator of the exhibition, Dr Ken Parry, lectures in Byzantine Studies in the Department of Ancient History at Macquarie University, as well as teaching Church History at St Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Theological College. He is well known for his writings on Byzantium and Eastern Christianity and has edited The Blackwell Dictionary of Eastern Christianity (1999) and The Blackwell Companion to Eastern Christianity (2007). He hopes that readers of VEMA will find time to visit the exhibition at the Art Gallery at Macquarie University which can be reached by train directly from Central Station.


Details: Macquarie University Art Gallery, Building E11A, North Ryde, NSW 2019; Tel: 02 9850 7437; Website: