Visiting Spain a few years back, I was wandering down the narrow streets of the old town of Seville, when I turned a corner and looked straight into the eyes of a rather prim Madonna, staring out at me from a wall mural of gleaming ceramic tiles. (She become the subject of a later, "found object" collage piece!) This was a new kind of sacred art for me. I was fascinated by the way it was both Roman Catholic and Spanish, yet, clearly influenced by the Moorish tile decorations I had seen in the palaces of Andalusia.
Once back in Cyprus, I set out to replicate these ceramic wall murals on paper, mixing in a few local sacred art motifs to create collage pieces, constructed from “tiles” of color pencil drawings, glued on to paper or cardboard. Iberian Cross is the most Spanish in style of these paper tile collages. Deisis is the most Cypriot, suggesting the "prayer" row of a Greek Orthodox iconostasis. In Intercessors and For All the Saints, I combined the vibrant coloring of Andalusian ceramics and the red framing of Greek icons to create abstract compositions rather far removed from the popular sacred art traditions in either culture.
Except for the cross-like figure of Christ at the center of Intercessors, a selection of my favorite saints from the Eastern, Latin and Celtic traditions takes shape from triangles fitted into squares. Each figure is surrounded by signs and emblems, revealing their identities—St. Catherine with her wheel, St. Columba floating at sea in a coracle, St. Teresa of Avila, pierced through the heart by a heavenly shaft. An experiment in ecumenism through art!