Icons painted by prisoners presented in Ivano-Frankivsk
The All-Ukraine exhibition of icons and carvings made by people in prison has been presented in Ivano-Frankivsk.
Embroidery, beading, burning, carving, art installation, knitting and stained glass - over 160 icons decorated with the help of various artistic techniques were exhibited in the regional museum. The authors of works are prisoners from all over Ukraine, Donetsk, Luhansk, Chernihiv, Kyiv, Ivano-Frankivsk etc. Only the best works were selected for the exhibition, according to RISU reporter Yulia Holovchyn.
"In this room the articles of religious purpose are presented, as this is a special competition, which was first held in penal institutions, then the best articlesmanufactured by prisoners were sent to the regional penal administration where the commission determined the best work,” said Deputy Head of Regional Penal Administration Serhiy Repetskyy.
“The Church is working with the Prison Services that envisage spiritual care, where the priests come to serve liturgy and preachthe word of God. Accordingly, there is a religious library. This is an opportunity for evangelization, for the Church's mission. The Church must also be present in places where people are deprived of liberty,”says Auxiliary Bishop of Ivano-Frankivsk UGCC Josafat (Moschych).
The organizer of show contest is the head of the Patriarchal Commission of the UGCCfor Pastoral Care in Penitentiary Institutions Kostyantyn Panteley from Kyiv. The purpose of the exhibition is to open for public the spiritual aspect of the art of ex-prisoners. Co-organizer Fr. Ivan Zhuk says that any person can be engaged in art irrespective of the place of residence.
“When we are not imprisoned we believe that object of art can be created by free people and that art is vividly expressed by people who have the ability to contemplate the beauty of nature, the beauty of God's creation at large. But when a person takes the path of correction, he is also free, though stays behind the prison bars,” says Fr. Ioan, a servant of the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the UGCC.
It is planned to sell the icons. The money will be sent to prisons all over Ukraine. According to the clergy, these works reveal man's way to self-cognition.
“These icons represent internal path of one’s conversion. People find strength to change themselves. This is the first step for some actualizations, for something good and positive,” says Fr. Ivan.
The exhibition contest began on March 11 and will last till April 11. By the way, the opening day coincided with the anniversary of casualties during the Revolution of Dignity. Further exhibition of icons will continue in Lviv. Previously it was held in Kyiv, Chernihiv, Dnipropetrovsk and Donetsk.