David Phillips writes; “Holy Cross church in Palermo opened its doors to visitors for a well attended art exhibit for five days in Christmastide to celebrate the Incarnation. The celebration of Christmas, or God taking flesh in Jesus Christ, is directly related to the Church’s decision in the 8th century to affirm the use of sacred images in Christian devotion. The exhibit explored the relation between earthly images and the divine archetypes in art, church architecture and the human soul.
“Icons and other exhibited objects from the Catholic, Orthodox and Coptic communities were on loan from local churches and private collections. Three Italian regions were represented (Sicily, Campania and Veneto), as well as art from other countries of the world, including Spain, Greece, Russia, Armenia, Ethiopia, and Brazil. Many of the objects were from the private collection of Marcella Croce, who was curator of the exhibit along with Fr David Phillips.
“There were panel descriptions of the works, including quotations from Leonid Ouspensky and Archbishop Rowan Williams, who have written on an Orthodox understanding of icons and their use in devotion. Panels with inscriptions and diagrams were erected in the sanctuary of Holy Cross to help people understand and reflect on the images of heaven and the soul communicated by the architecture, mosaics and stonework of the church. The final panel, was in the Marsala chapel - it had a mirror in the centre, with text in English and Italian on either side with quotations from Scripture and Dante's Divine Comedy. It explained how the visitor is an image of God, mirroring that glory to others, if the visitor looks upon Christ.
Find out more from the church website: http://www.chiesaanglicanapalermo.it/news_ArtExhibit.html