Byzantine art … from the inside!
In the framework of its educational programmes and with launching pad the works in the permanent exhibition of Byzantine icons from the Emilios Velimezis and Margaritis – Makris Collection, which are hosted in the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation, a special educational programme was designed to help schoolchildren to ‘discover’ and to ‘redefine’ their relationship with their religious iconographic tradition and to interact with it.
Aims of the programme
to encourage children to think about issues pertaining to the ecclesiastical iconographic tradition
to bring up to the surface structures on which this tradition is based and which are not visible to the naked eye.
The active participation of pupils is achieved through continuous activity, in which the emphasis on the details of the works stimulates observation and discussion with the children.
Activity: Pupils are divided into groups of 10, each group is given a Byzantine icon in the form of pieces of a puzzle which they are asked to put back together. Through this process they focus on the arrangement of the details of the image, which helps them to understand the principles of Byzantine art.
The programme creatively restructures the pupils’ view that Christian art is a part of Greek culture that is old-fashioned and of little interest to them.
The programme was designed and is implemented by the Byzantinist Dr Irene Panou, who teaches Byzantine Art and Hellenic Culture at the Greek Open University and the Open University of Cyprus.