A work of art unfolds: Painting St Ignatius Loyola

A video of an emerging piece of artwork offers a tool for Ignatian prayer and reflection, and an insight into the creative process.

Australian artist Michael Galovic was recently commissioned by St Ignatius’ College Riverview to create a new artwork of the school’s patron.

galovicsml1Galovic has created a video showing the development of the new 170x80cm artwork, which was created on canvas on board, with the traditional gesso and painted with egg tempera. The video offers a tool for prayer and reflection, as well as an insight into the creative process.

Writes Galovic of the artwork:

My objective was to deliver a piece which moves away from the static, predictable renditions of saints, a work which hopefully is vibrant, engaging, dynamic and does not leave a viewer indifferent. Instead, it should invite reflection, attention and be a stimulating work of art in the area of religious art, which possibly needs to be revisited in general in our time and era.

I spent a lot of time pondering this work and realised that instead of a traditional icon which is not a problem for me to do, I would rather come up with an exciting, vibrant work which engages the viewer.

I came up with this 100x80cm format as it suited my idea. I do not work much with sketches, if at all; instead, I meditate and visualise the image I want to deliver, and when it is mostly in ‘digestible form’ then I start the painting process, which still allows me to meander a bit, change some ideas, improvise and the result is always fresher than if I worked on a simple reproduction of my own sketch.

The step-by-step process of an artwork unfolding is something that surprises even us who are the creators, as we tend to forget the stages and doubts, to arrive at something we could not have envisaged in detail when we commenced the journey. Hence, it was good to be able to revisit my own work now laid out in almost day by day images of progress.