Hurrah! This doesn’t happen often. The moot community has paid me some money to paint an icon for their use.
I’m really looking forward to doing it actually. It takes a lot to get a commission right. Enjoying doing it is key. There’s nothing worse than doing a commission that becomes a drudge or an obligation.
Its also important to have a clear idea as to how the commission will work out. Rublev’s icon of the trinity (pictured) has a long history with emerging church groups, and especially many of the mooters, so it seems only right to do something based on this icon, as a trinitarian understanding of spirituality is so important to this group.
I have an idea to make the “Father” figure a black man, as this is important for moot – we live in a city that has had a spate of shootings recently, and many are suggesting that the absence of father-figures in the lives of black families is a contributory factor. So I want to paint a positive role model of the black father, also to show inclusivity and acceptance.
The Holy Spirit figure will be a woman, as its known that the Holy Spirit is in some way a representation of the feminine side of God. I want this icon generally to reflect the inclusive nature of the community, and of God.
Problems: The image only has 3 figures in it, which limits how you can show inclusivity.
The inclusion of the black father figure could be a statement about the absence of God, which could be two-edged – it can be seen negatively as well as positively.
The use of a woman for the Holy Spirit could also be seen to be reinforcing negative stereotypes about women, though (quiet and hidden, there to support men, etc.).
You have to think about these things – If you get it wrong, it can be an albatross both for you as the artist, and for the client. (Think Graham Sutherland – Winston Churchill)
Its a bit of a minefield really, but whatever I end up doing, I think I’m going to stick with Rublev.