Landmark Corpusty church to host icon exhibition
A celebration of living art by artist Judith James will be taking place at Norfolk’s landmark “church on the hill” from late June.
Judith, who lives in the village, has a fine body of iconography work comprising of more than 20 icons she has made herself. She has obtained permission and support from The Norfolk Churches Trust to put on an exhibition in St Peters Church in Corpusty between Friday, June 28 and Friday, July 5.
She intends to paint an icon while the church is open to visitors. Special plinths have been designed for her icons, which feature many traditional images.
“I staged an exhibition in Italy last year inside an abbey and was able to use the space to make a great impact. St Peter’s is also a large, bright space – just the right setting for a celebration of striking images,” she said.
Although born in Norwich, she frequently visited her grandparents, who lived at Manor Farm in sight of the church. Later as a mature student she studied fine art at Newcastle University and has specialised in painting icons for the past eight years. Her first attempts at iconography were painted on terracotta tiles but having studied with English, American, Italian and Russian teachers, she now paints in the traditional methods using wood and linen.
Icons tend to be flat and stylised partly because the perspective is different, and the subject often looks at the viewer. When blessed by a priest an icon can be used in a church or in a private house as an aid to prayer.
St Peter’s is a fourteenth century disused church on a hill clearly visible from the B1149 Norwich to Holt Road. It has a special place in the Norfolk Churches Trust’s history. In 1974 Lady Harrod’s interest in the church was a catalyst, which led to the founding of the trust. Taken on by the Friends of Friendless Churches in 1982, St Peter’s passed into the trust’s care in 2009.
Judith’s exhibition starts on Friday June 28 with formal exhibition opening at 6.30pm lasting for 2 hours. Light refreshments will be available and donations towards the planned conservation of the interior of the church will be welcome.
On Saturday June 29, the exhibition will be open from 11am to 5pm. There will be a picnic in the churchyard at 1pm, and the Patronal Service is at 2.30pm conducted by the Rev David Longe, vicar of Saxthorpe. The exhibition will then run from 11am to 7pm on Sunday June 30, and from 10am to 4pm from Monday to Friday July 1 to 5.
Judith says “I have studied different methods of painting Icons, under various teachers, including Russian, Italian and American and my technique is gradually evolving. To paint an Icon is a spiritual experience involving prayer at every stage. Icons are particularly associated with the Eastern Orthodox Church, but are increasingly seen in churches of other denominations. They are also an aid to private prayer in the home “.
St Peter’s Church Corpusty is at NR11 6QE
The image of St Peters Corpusty and of one of Judith’s icon paintings above are courtesy of
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