Bradford Cathedral is currently hosting fifteen icons in an exhibition by Chris Czainski. Based in Sowerby Bridge and Staithes, Chris has had lifelong passion for beachcombing and uses in her work the discarded objects she finds, such as pottery and glass fragments, shells and driftwood.
She says “My work with found objects feels as though it is rooted at a very deep level. The process is very important, powerful and satisfying. When foraging for lost objects on the riverbank and seashore I am conscious of their historical connections. Some of the things that I find, particularly bones, demand respect. They need to be celebrated in some way, and the constructions may come to resemble a memorial or reliquary. It all began with found pieces of pottery on a beach and I have been collecting for some time now. These remnants of people’s lives fired my imagination.”
Chris’s latest project is the creation of these Icons, based on traditional Byzantine and Greek icons, using her found objects but encompassing her many other skills including printmaking, painting and drawing.
Married to Paul Czainski, the couple have just returned from working together on the reinstatement of a John Carr of York painted ceiling at Chatsworth House. Paul is one of the country’s leading exponents of trompe l’oeil (using light and shade to create the optical illusion that the object depicted exists in 3D) and his work adorns the homes of, amongst others, Sir Mick Jagger, Ringo Starr and Anne Robinson.
Icons is open now until 24 October, Monday to Saturday from 9am to 4.30pm: free entry with donations appreciated. On Thursday 18 September at 6.30pm Chris will be talking about her work and the inspiration behind this particular exhibition. For more details, please contact the Cathedral Office on 01274 777720 or visit the Cathedral website.