ABOUT MARIA MIRONENKO
“Life of the church is never fully covered by past, it has present and future, and always is driven by the Holy Spirit. And if showing spiritual visions and revelations, witnessed in icons, has been possible before, it can be done now and in the future. It’s just a matter of fact, when creative inspiration and boldness to create a new icon will appear.”
f. Sergey Bulgakov
The Great Inquisitor in a well-known parable of Dostoyevsky is talking to Christ: ”Thou hast given him the right henceforth to choose and freely decide what is good and bad for him, guided but by Thine image in his heart.”. In earthy categories of thinking, an icon becomes the foremost symbol, as a reflection of God’s sense of imminent eternity. The icon, according to the words of father Pavel Florensky, becomes a window into the world of Haven.
Maria’s professional academic education, taken in arts school combined with integration of subtle aspects of “alive tradition” in Russian studios of Kiev and Moscow. Last trip to Diveyevo has opened to Maria not only the identity of saint Seraphim of Sarov, as a spiritual mentor, but also gave an opportunity to create “her own” spiritual painting, which has aspecial place in Maria’s works and in her heart. Gallery contains portraits of Seraphim of Sarov, Sergey of Radonezh, Dosifeyaof Kyiv, Ambrose of Optina, Silouan the Athonite, Archbishop Luka, Seraphim of Vyritsa and many other righteous men of Holy Rus: in each of them concentrated assiduously and spirituality of sight of life. And they are transferred with such intuitive power, that visitors of vernissage call the atmosphere there – permeable and inspirational towards the sacrament of confession… Such emphasis of Maria’s art language relates portraits with Holy icons. Presented catalogue, gives tribute to traditions and canons of Orthodox iconography, wrapping them in a very modern way.
The fact that Man is given the right to create, is one of the evidences of his Godlike. God made Man in his own image and now Man is trying to reveal the God to the world through his creations. The process of painting, or to express better – the birth of icon - is the process of mysterious co-creation of God and Man. Spiritual image can be created only in the process of spiritual work of the painter and this process is constant along the history because this is the path of spiritual search and aspiration to Preimage. In this sense Man’s creative energy shall never dry out, and in the actions of humans this aspect of “God’s Image” is presented especially clearly in iconography. Today young artists create new variations of ancient samples, not imitating, but carefully developing eternal motives, seeking their own scope in timeless search of the ratio between Earthy and Heaven beauty.
Maria’s icons are calling to pray - and this is the main criterion of icon’s existence, which should not so much represent the plot or author’s uniqueness in art, and not so much even the feeling of facing the Other World, but mostly the measure of discovery and communion of the Other World…”Those who put away Old Testament man, will wrap as new”… from this statement comes a significant part of author’s missionary meaning, as a co-worker of his Creator. It’s remarkable that the author’s age is slightly above thirty, and she has such perception and perusal of celestial’s world, for example archangels, pre-epochal and powerful creatures, who have been witnesses of The Creation of the World and even older than time itself - is representative and important aspect, not only for iconographical works, but as well for church-historical paintings of the author. This sense of reality and presence of depicted is not only the consequence of certain mastery and skills, but it exactly shows the originality of perception, clarity and spiritually demanding style, which can become rare mystical gift of commonwealth!..
Because, from Maria’s words, she just cannot not paint saint Seraphim of Sarov, driven by overwhelming feeling of kinship and love to this saint, openly and directly calling him “beloved grandpa”. Also due to original unrepeatable color decisions in each icon, all images are recognizable, welcome and open for communication with modern man. They show where unbridgeable vail between two worlds falls and the stream of eternity pierces through into cruel material physical world, and saints descend and invigorate a praying man.“An icon isn’t an expression of experience of a painter,- saying Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh,- it is an expression of entire Church experience. Artist does not invent an icon, he dives into knowledge of God which is same for entire Church that he belongs to, he communicates through his flesh, his heart, his thought, gradually acknowledging the God within boundaries of humanity”. Icons choose place of being themselves, place of existing, place of appearing.
Talking about Maria Myronenko as about an artist, it’s hard not to pay attention and not to mark her extreme natural beauty. The sketch of Other World is created by the hands of this person, and its nature has Original and Inviolable beauty, which becomes the confirmation of the expression “Like begets like”. Undoubtedly, nowadays Orthodox Church, in the face of Maria Myronenko, has its own loyal artist, and her works found many grateful admirers. We want to sincerely and with with a prayer wish young artist to find new expressive paths with the main aim to cast down earth and time postulates of this perishable world through spiritual realities by hand and unchangeable tools – brush and paints, to raise man’s spirit into divine world of God, originally made for man, into perfect house of his God and Father!..
“For only the bee knows the delicate taste in a flower,
And only the artist perceives trace of beauty in all.”
Abbess Anna. Nikolsky Monastery