‘Icons of Nature’ - Sirpa Moghissi’s current series of work - draws on the traditions of icon painting. But golden halos have turned into large abstract shapes that play on the pictorial surface, echoing the rhythms of traditional iconography, but speaking the language of contemporary image making. And here, nature is the subject of worship, not human gods or saints.
Sirpa’s mixed media, multi layered collages combine drawing, printmaking, painting, photography and found imagery, built up on a birch wood surface. Rejecting any hierarchy of discipline, Sirpa has developed a uniquely individual approach, referencing both time honoured techniques and her own creative digital image making processes.
The result is that, on the surface, the ideas for Sirpa’s work are rooted in the past, but the techniques she uses bring them to the forefront of contemporary image making, moulding the past into the present whilst asking us to be vigilant in the way we step forward. As society begins to face up to the damage it has wrought on the planet, Sirpa’s work - with its symphony of colour, gold leaf and pattern, and its layering of images from nature - encourages us to celebrate and hold precious now her icons from the natural world.