Cappadocia + Call for Exhibition

Mosaic details for iconostasis

Cappadocia + Call for Exhibition

Newsletter 20 November 2019

Dear friend,

How would you call a state of mind, when you have just unloaded a large project from your brain?

What are the most appropriate words?

Mosaic detail for iconostasis
Mine are the emptiness and freedom, and when they are together, it’s a state of inspiration. Well, I did not finish the church interior 100%, and yet I can only share photographs of mosaic details but at least there is nothing I can do with it right now, – time to start painting icons again, – time to do a commission I promised to make more than half a year ago. It’s st Victoria of Ephesus and I hope it will be ready by the new year…

After finishing with the Epitaphios Olga has started several pieces of research, getting back to egg tempera, relief gesso and experiments in relative materials… Hope in the next issue we both will have some completed icons and will have some newest icons to share… Icons and other images inspired by…


When it comes to Cappadocia, we just can not help it. We both fell in love with this little piece of land, the motherland of St Basil the Great, St John Chrysostom, and St. Gregory the Theologian (known as the Great Cappadocian Fathers)… Every time we come there, it’s an overwhelming dose of adrenaline, excitement and continuous brainstorming, caused by the desire to understand these local artists, to get what made them so great and so free at the same time.

Sarnic church, Cappadocia

The most surprising thing, when you come to Cappadocia, is the fact, that you are surrounded by beauty. It’s everywhere: rocky landscapes and painted cave churches…

There are some painted cave churches, where you need to buy a ticket to enter, but there is also a number of churches with X – XII century murals with totally free access, you just have to know how to find them. In Cappadocia it’s not an easy thing, because the maps and tourist schemes in the valleys have faded (most of them), and maps from the Tourist Information offices are so approximate, that they only provide you with very rough coordinates. And even locals sometimes can not help you. This makes even more valuable an opportunity to find a painted X century church just by yourself. Sarnic kilise (“Cistern church” from Turkish) is a good example of it – we only found it on our second try.

Here we publish some photos of it, all in one album – Sarnic Kilise , – hope they give some idea of this tiny-tiny little church…

The Workshops:

The 30th of November we most likely will have to close the registration for the Icon Painting Workshops in Melbourne. If you are waiting for the last moment to sign for any of them, it’s time to act.

In the meantime, the boards for the workshops are ready, they are on their way to our Studio. The boards for “Our Lady Igorevskaya” workshop are 30 * 25 cm (12 * 10 in) with raised edges, the Crucifix boards are 50 * 37 cm ( 20 * 14 in). As always they are made from solid linden wood, but these particular boards have no raised edges, to give more freedom and possibilities for drawing.

Besides, we have a narrow and specific proposal for those, who may happen to be in Saint Petersburg in February: some weeks ago we have been inquired if we could teach relief gesso technique, which made Olga’s works so special on New Valamo icon exhibition “Saints of Undivided church”. We agreed to make a series of 4 half-day sessions 17-20 of February 2020, and if you are interested to read about this “Relief Gesso Workshop in Saint Petrsburg (Russia)”, please see a special page: .

The Exhibition:

Another note for those, who can bring or ship one or more artworks to Melbourne: – exactly like in previous years, we invite our students and friends to participate in the Exhibition “Visions of Beauty-2020”!

Exhibition of Icons in Melbourne
Here we have to mention, – even though this exhibition this time will be organized for the fifth time,
last year we had a very unfortunate incident, when a wonderful tiny copy of Hans Memling, made by a Melbourne-based iconographer was stolen.

This year for the time of the exhibition and workshops we are going to remove the temporary wall between the gallery space and the class, hoping that nobody will dare to steal in front of a class, but yet we have to give a little piece of advice: please, bring large pieces if you can!

The topic is wide – Christian Religious Art. We invite icons as well as other religion-related images. We can not guarantee we accept all the images, but especially if you bring a large size artwork, we will most likely include it in the show.

Exhibition address is the same, – ACU Visual Arts Space, 26 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Victoria. Upon your arrival, please wave in front of the window or knock the glass door of the Gallery to be noticed.

The installation is scheduled for about midday on the 11th of January 2020. Together with our students and friends, who come for the installation, we will select the best ones and mount them. If you think you may have some spare time, any help will be appreciated.

For those, who want to participate, here is a little hint: the flyer was not made yet… Well, here is the point: this time we are counting on you.

Please email us the photographs of the works you wish to show, in high resolution and we will choose the best ones to be put on the flyer. Mosaic from Saint Sophia


P.S. Occasionally found in our Newsletter of 2016 a link to the photographs of some of the churches of Istanbul,- Aya Sophia and Kahrie Jami .
Thought you may like them, if you missed:…


Thank you very much for being our valued subscribers!
If you have amoment, we would greatly appreciate if you let us know, which for you is the best and preferred type of news, and which you think can be lift unpublished.

With warmest regards,
Philip Davydov and Olga Shalamova