British Association of Iconographers



Exhibition: Coptic Iconography:

The Contemporary Style, 12-24 October 2015

The Prince's School of Traditional Arts is pleased to host an exhibition of works by Dr. Stéphane René. Entitled Coptic Iconography: The Contemporary Style, the exhibition will be on view in the School's gallery from 12-24 October, 2015. Dr. René will also lecture at the School in October on the topic of the exhibition.
The exhibition will be opened by Bishop Angaelos, General bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK. There will also be a Coptic concert held in connection with the exhibition. The concert will be held at St John’s Notting Hill, W11 2NN, at 7pm on Friday 16th October.
Stéphane René is a leading exponent of the Neo-Coptic School. He studied under the school’s founder, the late Prof. Isaac Fanous, at the Institute of Coptic Studies, Cairo and received his PhD from the Royal College of Art, London, in 1990. He teaches regular classes and leads workshops internationally and supervises doctoral research in iconography at The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, London. His work can be found in Coptic, Anglican and Catholic churches in Europe and the USA. He is the director of Sacred Space Gallery at St John’s Notting Hill, London.
Curatorial Statement:
Following 1500 years of nearly complete isolation from the West, recent events in Egypt have brought the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria to the forefront of Western news and social media. Although the Pharaonic, Greco-Roman and Islamic history of Egypt is widely known and well researched, Coptic Egypt is only beginning to receive attention from academia and from the increasing number of Copts engaged in the re-discovery and documentation of their own heritage and complex history. This exhibition seeks to broaden the understanding and appreciation of Coptic spirituality through its beautiful iconographic and musical traditions.
Iconography is the sacred art of the Coptic Orthodox Church. Unlike the other Abrahamic faiths,Judaism and Islam, Christianity holds the human figure as the focus of its visual expression. The theological basis for this is found in the incarnation of the Logos, the second person of the Trinity, according to St. John's Gospel: "...and the Word was made flesh…" (John 1:14). Icons are an integral part of the Orthodox liturgy uniting the spiritual and physical realms, heaven and earth. Icons also have an important didactic function, teaching the faithful about the mysteries of the Orthodox faith through the medium of art. Iconography is, first and foremost, visual
The golden age of Coptic civilisation, also known as the Coptic period, 4th-7th centuries, roughly coincides with the era between the recognition of Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire (Edict of Theodosius AD 381), and Egypt's invasion by Islamic forces in AD 642. Coptic spirituality, art and culture flourished during this period, which saw the advent of Coptic monasticism and the legendary Desert Fathers. Later, Coptic artists and craftsmen were highly prolific during Fatimid rule (9th-12th c.), a notable period of church building and
restoration. By the turn of the 19th century however, Coptic iconography fell into decadence and eventually disappeared until the 1950's and the coming of Isaac Fanous.
Prof. Isaac Fanous is the founder of the Contemporary or Neo-Coptic School of Iconography. This new school came about as part of a general renaissance of Coptic culture that gained momentum during the patriarchate of Abba Kyrillos VI (1959-71). The canon of proportion,
artistic vocabulary and symbol system of the contemporary style inherited much from Ancient Egypt. Designs are uncluttered, free of unnecessary elements and decorations and present the viewer with the essential information to experience and read the icon. The hieratic figures of the saints stare from the beyond at the onlooker, free from the sentimentality of human passions, radiating uncreated, heavenly light.
Stéphane René PhD (RCA)


July 11th - 12th 2015

Chiltern Open Air Museum


Irina Bradley is demonstrating techniques of icon painting at Chiltern Open Air Museum on the 11th and 12th of July. Irina's icons will be exhibited in the museum's chapel. The address of the venue is Newland Park, Gorelands Lane, Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire HP8 4AB.
The link to the event:





Members Day

The next BAI sponsored

Members Day

is a talk and demonstration by

Fadi Mikhail


Coptic Iconographer


Saturday 27th June 2015

The Pimlico Room at St Saviours Church in Pimlico London SW1V 3QW.

In 2013, Fadi was commissioned by Royal Mail to produce an Icon of Christ and St Mary for their £1.88 Christmas stamp. He was also commissioned by the Coptic Church to produce 2 icons for HRH Prince of Wales who visited The Coptic Church Centre on 17 Dec 2013., Fadi was apprenticed by the father of Neo-Coptic Iconography - the late Professor Isaac Fanous - in California USA.

The talk will start at 12.30pm and finish at 3.00pm.

The cost is £5.00 for members and £10 for non members.

Please book in advance by email to John Clawson


Notice of
Annual General Meeting 2015

British Association of Iconographers

The AGM of the Association will take place on
27th June 2015 at 3.15pm (after the talk by Fadi Mikhail)
The Pimlico Room, St Saviour's Church, St Georges Sq, Pimlico, London SW1V 30W
(near Pimlico Tube station)


1- Welcome

2- Apologies for absence

3- Confirmation of Minutes of previous AGM 21st June 2014

4- Matters arising from previous meeting

5- Treasurers Report (The accounts for 2014 are available now by post or by email. Please email me at for a copy.

They will also be available at the AGM)

6- Secretary's Report

7- Publicity Officers Report

8 Editors Report

9 - Election Of Officers and National Committee Members

10- AOB

There will be a short meeting after the AGM to discuss the progress of the arrangements for the BAI Exhibition in October


BAI Exhibition - October 2015

Icons for Peace 2015

Submitting your exhibits

As you will no doubt be aware the BAI Exhibition of Members Icons - ‘Icons for Peace 2015’ - will take place from Wednesday 14th October to Friday 16th October 2015 between 10.30 am to 6.00pm at St Saviour's Church, St George's Square, London, SW1V 3QW (near Pimlico Station)

To participate in the Exhibition please note:

a) To book a space at the exhibition costs £5.00 per item, All of the proceeds will be sent to the Bethlehem Icon School in Bethlehem.
Members of the BAI should register and pay for exhibiting on our website under the Contact us click on. There is a facility to pay for up to 4 exhibits at the foot of the page. . If you wish to enter more items please email for confirmation that there is space available.

b) Send Rhian Dodds an email at attaching jpeg pictures (minimum resolution 300dpi) of the items you will be exhibiting together with the titles and sizes before 15th June 2015 so we can include it (them) in the exhibition catalogue. Also please send her a jpeg or pdf of yourself and a short biography of no more than about 200 words for inclusion in the catalogue.The 15th June deadline is essential to guarantee you will be included in the exhibition catalogue.
The exhibition catalogue will be printed in A4 size in full colour and will cost £15.00 to purchase. Please order your copy as soon as possible as there will only be one print run. Please also let us know if you are offering your icon for sale and if so, the cost. The BAI will not take any commission on any items sold in the exhibition.

c) Send or take your exhibits to Caroline Lees at 14 Ringmer Avenue London SW6 5LW between 5th and 9th October.2015. Please let her know by email what you have sent and when she can expect to receive it. Her email address is
Make sure your name and address are on the back of each icon so they can be easily identified and that there is a hanging wire attached. We will not insure your exhibit(s) nor can we be responsible for its (their) safety in transit nor at the venue. However, we will make sure that every effort is made to keep your items safe. You may find your exhibits are covered by your own household contents insurance if you have this.
Please note you will have to collect your exhibit(s) from the venue in London on the the last day of the exhibition or, if prior notice is given to from a venue to be notified at a later date. We will mail back icons only if postage is paid for in advance and if they are mailed to us with re-usable is packing..All items sent are at your own risk.

We would still appreciate offers of help. Please let us know at if you can help in erecting the stands on Tuesday 13th October and hanging the exhibits. We also need help in curating the exhibition on a rota over the three days

d) There will be items from the BAI for sale during the three days of the exhibition including catalogues if they are not all sold in advance, Iconographers Reviews etc. Members will not be allowed to sell their own items at the exhibition. but they may place Free of Charge items, Icon cards, details of courses etc on the reception table.



This is a link to a beginners icon technique from one of Peter Murphy's starter courses at Canterbury. Peter has asked me to share it with members .

Click here


The next BAI sponsored Members Day is a talk by Hanna Ward The Golden Ratio and will be on 14th March 2015 in The Pimlico Room at St Saviours Chuch in Pimlico London SW1V 3QW. The talk will start at 10.30 am and finish at 3.30pm. Hanna will talk and show images in the beginning but then we will do practical compass work and members will learn to construct patterns and golden section. So note that it will be also a geometry practical exercise class and not only a talk so bring a good quality compass, 12 inch ruler, a sharp pencil and a pencil sharpener, rubber and maybe one or two coloured pencils and some A4 paper.

The cost is £5.00 for members and £10 for non members.


Call for entries for a proposed exhibit at St Peter's Church, Oare.

The PCC of St Peter's Church Oare have proposed an exhibit as part of the Canterbury Festival Artist Open Houses, October 2015. St Peter's was the venue for the Divine Dimensions installation where many BAI members showed and sold their work. Approximately £24,000 worth of icons were sold at that time.

This is NOT an icon show, nor a sacred painting exhibit, nor will it be like Divine Dimensions for which St Peter's received a Heritage Grant, but it is thought that some members of BAI might be interested in sending in work. It may interest calligraphers, for instance.

The idea that forms the theme of the exhibit is a celebration of the Magna Carta. The works can be no larger than 28 by 38 cms when framed and they should serve to provide a narrative of the events of 1215 and the significance of the historic document. The children's poem by GK Chesterton, 'John was a tyrant, John was a tartar," might act as inspiration for contributors. In keeping with the theme, submissions should be restricted to media in use in the medieval period but they may be contemporary in style or perspective. Applications must be in before April. Contact Ann Welch at or at 15 Church Road, Oare, Faversham ME13 0QA

Dick Temple is giving a day of illustrated talks and discussion at Stonehill House just outside Oxford on November 15th. You can find further details at
If you want to come be sure to contact Stonehill House - not the Temple Gallery


Advance notice

The British Association of Iconographers are planning to hold an exhibition 'Icons for Peace' in London at a date in October 2015. Full details will be published in December 2014



Help wanted.

I've designed an Orthodox Christmas card for my own use, but lack the skills to produce a satisfactory, printable image. Would any member(s) be willing to accept that task as a commission? Howard Huws []

Icon painter wanted.

Message from: Guillaume Hellier with email address : Hello, I am looking for an Icon painter in London. I wish to commission the painting of a personnalized Icon. Please be so kind and cotact me by email. Thanks

News from the Fellowship of Saint Luke.

On April 8th Annie Shaw will be giving a talk on iconography and demonstrating her beautiful style of painting at OraEtLabora, 3 Church Street, Bath.Contact Joanna Mcniff on 01225 481111 for tickets. In May Annie will be convening a 6 day course at the studio of Alice Craigmyle in St. Catherine, Bath - see Course pages for details of this wonderful opportunity to experience this beautiful Byzantine Float style of painting. Some places are still available for courses in the West London workshops in early May and late September, again see course pages for details.

Icons wanted in May 2014

I would like to exhibit some Russian Icons as a lead-up to a talk at Stonehill House & Barn by Sir Richard Temple in May this year. The venue is just outside Oxford. Naturally I will pay all costs of travel/transport and would not take any commission on any sales. Please let me know your contact if interested. Thank you!
Anthea Norman-Taylor


Christians in Fine Arts UK

Schalk Bornman is hoping to create an organisation by the name of CIFA UK - Christians in Fine Arts UK
(or any name that would be more suitable.)

We at BAI received this message from Schalk (February 2014)

This organisation does not exist
yet. It is simply still an idea. My idea is based on an a similar American


• The aim of this organisation will be to bring together a collection of
artworks by Christian artists.
• This collection will consist of works of fine art that will be on loan
to CIFA on a temporary basis.
• This collection of artworks will go on a permanent touring exhibition.
• I believe that Christian art matters because it creates an encounter
between Scripture, works of art, and individuals.
• A secondary aim is to increase the visibility Christian fine art as well
of CIFA UK members and their art.
I have put together a few web pages (at the back of another website) simply to
explain what such an organisation could look like:

Would any readers be interested to get involved in something like this?

If so please contact



We have a message from: MR PROSHAK with email address as follows:

We have an icon which is changing colour with letters appearing and would like an
expert opinion.

I have asked Mr Proshak to bring his Icon to our members day at St Saviours on 29th March 2014