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Icons by Cloyne priest take centre stage in exhibition

By Sarah Mac Donald - 09 November, 2013

Iconographers Fr David O'Riordan, Eftychia Ilia and Nikolaos Griniezakis.  Photo: John Finn Photography

Iconographers Fr David O’Riordan, Eftychia Ilia and Nikolaos Griniezakis. Photo: John Finn Photography

A new exhibition of religious art including icons by a parish priest from the diocese of Cloyne has just opened at the European Commission buildings in Dublin.

‘Sacred Presences – an Exhibition of Icons’ comprises work by two iconographers from Crete, Nikolaos Griniezakis and Eftychia Ilia, and an Irishman, Fr David O’Riordan, who has been engaged in the practice of writing icons for over twenty years.

The exhibition was officially opened by Abbot Mark Patrick Hederman of Glenstal Abbey during the week and will continue until 29 November.

Fr David O Riordan, is parish priest of Ladysbridge and Ballymacoda.

A native of Midleton, he took up the practice of icon writing in 1992 when Guillem Ramos-Poqui gave a series of courses in Dublin.

Later, he took part in workshops held in Ireland under the aegis of the Irish Society of Byzantine Painters given by the Paris-based Greek  iconographer, Eva Vlavianos, and he attended many of her workshops in Boulougne, Paris, and in Le Bec, Normandy.

The Dublin exhibition provides a unique opportunity to see the work of present day iconographers who use the ancient techniques of egg tempera paint on wood panels when writing or painting an icon.

Nikolaos Griniezakis has lived at Moni Toplou Monastery, Vai, Crete and was apprenticed to Manolis Beteinakis, renowned iconographer who painted to frescoes there.

He later worked with Michelis Beteinakis. Nikos has worked professionally as an icon painter since 1996.

Nikolaos Griniezakis

Nikolaos Griniezakis

Eftychia Ilia has been studying with Nikoloas since 2009. She worked with him and renovated and restored the original iconostasis at Ieros Naos Metamorfosis tou Sotiros (Metamorphosis of Holy Saviour), Agios Ioannis, Ierapetra.

The exhibition has been organised and curated by Bernadette Burns, lecturer in Fine Art at Dublin Institute of Technology.

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