Scruple Co. /
William Morris x Eastern Orthodox
Back in elementary school I learned about an artist named, William Morris, who always stuck with me as an inspiration. He was the pioneer of the Arts & Crafts movement back in the late 1800’s and also a symptom of a much larger Christian reformation that imbued his designs.
Morris’ art is composed of heavily decorative floral patterns that I’ve combined with painted Eastern Orthodox icons (mainly) from Byzantine and Russian culture. They are displayed within Orthodox churches across the world, often used as an iconostasis and “as points of visual and spiritual intersection with eternal things”.
The duality of secular vs non-secular artforms spoke to me on many personal levels and revealed an attractive Judeo/Christian memetic continuity. These montages were composed during energized moments of my education about each saint or Biblical figure and are displays of my own stumbling with mystical ontological discernment.
Please continue reading for a further thesis on the project.
These montages are composed of found icons and open domain William Morris patterns from his personal estate.
This project is not meant to be in disrespect to either art or artist for their inherit form and meaning, all of which I research and ruminate on. All credits for the Eastern Orthodox icons go to the original creators for their beautifully rendered images.
“Beauty shall save the world.”
by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“William Morris, [was] part of a broad reform movement responding to industrialism and the decline of true craftsmanship and artistic integrity in Western society”
William Morris: The Man Who (Re)Discovered Art with a Little "a"
by David Bruce Hegeman
"Everything made by man's hands has a form, which must be either beautiful or ugly; beautiful if it is in accord with Nature, and helps her; it cannot be indifferent.”
“The nature of the icon cannot be grasped by means of pure art criticism, nor by the adoption of a sentimental point of view. Its forms are based on the wisdom contained in the theological and liturgical writings of the Eastern Orthodox Church and are intimately bound up with the experience of contemplative life.”
- The Meaning of Icons,
by Leonid Ouspensky, Vladimir Lossky (1999)