Icons on Ammunition Boxes


A moving set of icons has recently been on display at the parish church of St John’s, Notting Hill, before moving to the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy’s Cathedral of the Holy Family and then to the United Nations in New York. Artists Sofiia Atlantova and Oleksandr Klymenko have written them to support frontline medial aid services in Ukraine in conjunction with the British-Ukrainian Aid charity. Proceeds from the sale of the icons will go towards ambulances, medical supplies, and supporting the local artistic community Ukraine at this time.

What is different about these pieces, however, is their medium. They use tempera and gold leaf along with other artist techniques, but have all been composed on the lids of munitions boxes from the frontline, collected around the Avdiika industrial zone and donated by doctors in the field. The aim was to create a series of ‘Saints from the front’ using material to hand (including coal, chalk and clay). Most were written in the combat zone and seek to underline the theology of how God is everywhere, even in this place of violence and suffering. The fragments on which they are created serve as ‘silent war witnesses as well as symbols of the victory of life after death,’ say the artists. In time, it is hoped the project will also raise funds for a new mobile hospital and rehabilitation facility in Ukraine named after the Apostle Luke.

Icons on Ammunition Boxes have been on display at St John’s, Notting Hill, where the vicar, Canon William Taylor, is Chair of the Anglican and Eastern Churches Association. Anyone interested in buying an icon or finding out more about the project should enquire via info@pelicanlive.com or www.stjohnsnottinghill where a number of the works will remain on display until Pentecost this year.